Hinckley Road, Leicester LE3
St Peter’s church forms part of a pleasant 1980 complex of parish buildings built round a small courtyard. The church is distinguished externally by a tall detached brick bell-tower; internal furnishings of note include brick bas-relief sculptures by Carmel Cauchi.
Mass was said in Hinckley from 1896 when Fr Kane took up residence in the area. Fr Caus from Belgium was appointed to the mission in 1903 and became priest of the newly-created parish of St Peter in 1905. He raised the necessary funds for building a church, which was designed and built by the Leicester builder F. J. Bradford and erected on a site in Leamington Street in 1905. It was a substantial red brick building in the Gothic style. A presbytery was built alongside the church in 1925.
In the mid-1970s the requirements of a road scheme meant that a new church was needed. The City Council provided a site with a frontage to Hinckley Road. The architect for the new building was Thomas Wilson of Oakham; his scheme was designed around a central landscaped courtyard with the presbytery fronting the main road and the church parallel with the east frontage of the site, the copper-covered organ chamber and brick tower dominating the frontage. The church was designed to seat 350 with an enlarged narthex to cater for an additional eighty. The internal courtyard was landscaped by Alan Shaw.
St Peter’s church is an integral part of a complex of two-storey buildings arranged around a central court. The flat-roofed buildings are modern in style. The irregular external elevations of the church, community centre and presbytery are combined into a single composition. The basic steel frame of the main buildings is clad in buff-coloured hand-made bricks with exposed horizontal concrete beams. The church is distinguished on the Hinckley Road front by a copper-clad projection enclosing the organ and alongside is a 65ft freestanding tower consisting of two planes of brickwork which sandwich a copper-clad upstand topped by a large copper cross. The side wall on the east front is of two storeys with a flat-roofed side aisle with pairs of simple slit windows. The wall of the main church volume above has five triplets of larger slit windows. The main entrance to the church and the community centre is at the right hand end of this front, sheltered under an overhang. The elevation of the church to the courtyard is of similar form.
The church interior is a simple rectangular space with bare-faced brick walls and a flat ceiling. There is no structural sanctuary, but the end wall is emphasised by the pipes of the organ behind the altar, which is top-lit from a skylight. The side walls have narrow passage aisles and the upper walls are borne on heavy concrete beams supported on concrete piers. The liturgical west end wall has a similar arrangement, but beneath the concrete cross-beam is a glazed screen dividing the church from a large narthex. Above the beam the whole of this wall is filled with a cut brick bas- relief of Christ with Peter and the Apostles by the Maltese sculptor Carmel Cauchi. On the side walls of the aisles are the Stations of the Cross, also worked in relief by Cauchi.
Amended by AHP 27.01.2021
Architect: Thomas E. Wilson
Original Date: 1980
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed