Braemar Road, Owton Manor, Hartlepool TS25 3BZ
A modest design, built to serve a post-war housing estate, economically built and with a functional interior. The church retains original nave seating and Stations of the Cross, but the sanctuary fittings all date from a more recent reordering.
The parish of St Teresa was founded from St Cuthbert’s in 1949, to serve the new Owton Manor Estate. The first parish priest was Fr John Gannon. Until a church could be built Mass was said during the week in the presbytery on Owton Manor Lane and on Sundays in the Traveller’s Rest public house. As the church was needed for a new housing estate, this enabled a licence to be granted for the building during post-war building restrictions. The church and new presbytery were completed in 1952. A school was built in 1958, extended in 1961 with the infants’ school built in 1964.
The building is aligned on a north-south axis with the sanctuary to the south end of the church; in this description, liturgical orientation will be used with the sanctuary assumed to be to the east.
The aisleless church has a five-bay nave, with a west narthex expressed externally by tall gabled cross wing laid with graduated slates. The sanctuary has set back side walls and a blind east wall and is not prominent. The building is faced in drag-wire red brick, laid in stretcher bond, and has a shallow-pitched roof over the nave covered with mineral felt and hidden behind brick parapets. Square-headed steel windows with frosted glass are arranged in pairs, in concrete frames with a hoodmould detail, and ventilation hoppers. The principal entrance is within a gabled porch on the south side of the narthex, with panelled doors in a concrete surround. The contemporary presbytery is attached to the west end.
The plain interior comprises one large volume, except for an enclosed porch at the south side of the narthex with small gallery above. Walls are plain plastered above a painted brick dado. The ceiling is finished in ‘artex’, with a recessed central panel that runs the full length of the volume. The floor is laid with linoleum tiles, with carpet to the aisles. Fittings include hardwood pews, good quality carved oak Stations of the Cross, stone carved statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart flanking the sanctuary and a painted stone octagonal font at the west end. The sanctuary has been reordered and now has a panelled oak altar, tabernacle stand, lectern and seating, all late twentieth century.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1952
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed