Whincover Bank, Leeds 12
A characterful modern Gothic design with a little-altered interior. The church contains some good furnishings, notably a white marble altar, the form of which follows the curvature of the apse.
Fr Edward Wilcock built St Wilfred’s in 1958 as a chapel-of-ease to Holy Family church, New Wortley, to serve the new Cowclose, Stonebridge Lane and Tong estates. The site was bought from Leeds Corporation for £1,812, and the building of the church (cost £24,000) was financed from £28,000 raised by a football pool in the parish. The church and presbytery were built from designs by Francis Prichard of L.A.G. Prichard of Liverpool and the contractors were W. G. Birch of Harrogate. The church was designed to seat 350.
St Wilfrid’s became an independent parish in 1960, when the presbytery was built. In 1962 this was extended to form a parish hall, from designs by Derek Walker of Leeds.
Church in modern Gothic style, 1957-8 by Francis Prichard of L.A.G. Prichard. Portal frame construction with York stone cladding, consisting of aisleless nave with concrete tile roof, canted western narthex with copper roof and semicircular eastern apse, also with copper roof. Lady Chapel with flat felt roof projecting from the north side, sacristies of a similar character on the south side. On the flank elevations the portal framing that marks the bays subdivisions is externally expressed, with tall triple lancet windows in between (shorter in the sanctuary). At the west end, the narthex area contains a porch and the baptistery, retaining its original font with fluted bowl and stem. Metal gates to this and all three pointed arched openings into the nave, now also glazed in. Original columnar holy water stoups with inset blue mosaic on either side of central arch. The baptistery and the nave floor retain their composite linoleum floor, with a light blue and darker blue chequerboard pattern. The nave is 70 feet long, 38 feet wide and 22 feet high to the eaves, with plastered and painted side walls. The east and west walls are of exposed York stone, the latter with short triple lancets high in the gable. There are fibreboard panels in the roof between the concrete bays and the space is generously lit from the sides by the tall lancet windows. These contain tinted antique and cathedral leaded glass, made by Messrs Thomas Bennett & Son of Leeds, with a gradation of colour from deep blue at the base to clear at the top. The Lady Chapel gives off the south side of the nave, and has a statue of the Our Lady and the Child Jesus by Stuflesser and stained glass windows depicting Our Lady and St Wilfrid. There is a tall wide pointed sanctuary arch with one step up to the sanctuary area and a further three steps up to the high altar, which is of Italian white marble with a fluted frontal. Unusually, the altar is curved in shape, following the curvature of the apse. In front of and below this, there is a timber forward altar and a modern (2000) ambo. Original bleached oak pews to the nave.
Architect: L. A. G. Prichard
Original Date: 1958
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed