New Street, Ledbury, HR8 2EE
A light, modern and functional design on a square plan, built in the mid-1970s to meet post-Vatican II liturgical requirements.
A Catholic mission was established in Ledbury in 1903, when a 25-year lease was taken on a former Plymouth Brethren chapel in The Southend (The Tablet, 16 July 1904).
The present church and presbytery were built in 1975-6 from designs by F. R. Bates, Son & Price of Newport. The contractor was David Sherratt Ltd of Hereford. The church, planned to seat 180 comfortably and to accommodate up to 100 more, was dedicated by Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff on 10 June 1976. The teak crucifix attached to the gable end of the previous church was re-erected outside the new church.
Various additions to the church are mentioned below. In 1992 a parish hall opened at the rear and in 20o8 the presbytery was converted to a flat and parish centre.
The church was built in the mid-1970s, and was designed from the outset to serve the needs of the post-Vatican II liturgy. It is of steel framed construction, externally clad and internally faced with yellow brick. Above this is a continuous raised clerestory with leaded glazing in a random pattern. The roof (renewed in 2011) takes the form of an asymmetrical pyramid rising to its greatest height over the altar, where it is surmounted by a slender fleche.
The church is entered at the southwest corner behind a screen wall with three attached metal crosses. At the other end of the entrance area, in the southeast corner, is a small shrine. The interior is roughly square on plan, with the seating arranged around three sides of a projecting altar dais. Behind the dais, the tabernacle is placed centrally in a deeply recessed, tapered sanctuary, which is top-lit by a skylight.
Amongst the furnishings, the font is worthy of note; a wheatsheaf design on a stone plinth by local artist blacksmith Dave Preston, 2006. The painted Holy Trinity symbol on the ceiling is by a local artist called Moth, 2011. Abstract coloured glass representing the Trinity was installed in the clerestory over the altar dais in c.1987 (artist/maker not established). The curious wooden lectern, a log incorporating symbols of the evangelists, is by a Romanian violin maker, 2012. Finally, and somewhat incongruously in this setting, a stained glass window of St Elizabeth of Hungary by Louis-Victor Gesta of Toulouse, 1874, was donated to the parish in 1996. Encased and not backlit, it is not shown to best advantage.
Architect: F. R. Bates, Son & Price
Original Date: 1976
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed