Gleneagles Avenue, Leicester LE4
A striking small modern church on a radial plan, designed by a well- established firm of church architects and reflecting several currents in 1970s church design.
A chapel-of-ease to St Patrick, Royal East Street was opened in 1922, situated in Canon Street just north of the city centre and dedicated to Our Lady. In the early 1960s it was proposed to build a new church and adapt the old church as a hall. Designs survive in the Diocesan Archives for the new church by Reynolds & Scott, dated 1963 and clearly inspired by Coventry Cathedral, which had been consecrated the year before. In the event this was not proceeded with and a church of completely different form with a presbytery and hall were built from designs by Reynolds & Scott in the mid-1970s on an entirely new site in the middle of the Rushey Mead housing estate. The cost of the new complex was £126,000.
The church has a radial plan. The body of the building is a nine-sided enclosure of buff-coloured brick with a steel frame. The walls are generally single-storeyed with groups of plain vertical windows but the two sides behind the altar are carried up in sheer brickwork to form a dramatic emphasis while the copper-covered roof of the church rises to meet them in a tented form.
The main interior space has plastered and painted walls and has ample daylight from the clear glazed windows and some top light. The radial plan is emphasised by the exposed roof beams and by the bench seating, and the impact of the altar is enhanced by the organ case suspended above it in the angle of the walls. Beyond the glazed wall opposite the altar is a small Lady Chapel which has been positioned to allow for use as a weekday chapel with direct entry from the narthex. The sacristies form the link between the church and the presbytery. There are no furnishings of particular interest.
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1975
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed