Knighton Road, Leicester LE2
A bold brick building of the early 1950s in a stripped basilican style. It is an early post-war design by Reynolds & Scott, who built prolifically in the Diocese of Nottingham (the church is very similar to their St Pius X, Grimsby). The broad west tower is a local landmark.
The parish was formed in 1947 and the church was designed in 1948. The architect F. M. Reynolds offered two designs, with and without side arcades; the former was chosen. Reynolds & Scott also provided the designs for the presbytery. The builders were G. Duxbury & Sons of Leicester. Bishop Ellis laid the foundation stone on 28 October 1950 and the church was opened on 6 July 1952. The church was reordered and a hall built between church and presbytery in 1994-6, to the designs of Smith & Roper of Bakewell.
The church is a bold design in a stripped Italianate style. The external walls are faced with buff-coloured brick, the pitched roof is covered with pantiles. On plan, the building comprises a nave with tall narrow circulation aisles and sanctuary under one roof, with a broad west tower with a pyramidal roof spanning the full width of the main front with transeptal side-entrance projections. The tower has a deeply- recessed segment-headed central entrance. Above the entrance are two tall round- headed slit windows with an artificial stone crucifix between them. At the head of the tower is a bell-stage with small louvred openings set between battered buttresses. The tall side walls are completely plain with pairs of round-headed lancet windows. The east wall of the sanctuary has a single round window in the gable.
The interior is plastered and painted white. The nave is a wide space with a canted ceiling and four tall round-headed arches on each side leading to narrow passage aisles with the windows high in the wall. The sanctuary is slightly lower than the nave and has a painted ceiling and small side chapels with arched openings into the nave space. The reordering of 1994-6 made several significant changes to the interior. The original west choir gallery was replaced by a fully glazed structure. In the sanctuary the timber baldacchino over the high altar was removed, together with the altar itself and the marble communion rails, and a new octagonal altar was set on the mosaic floor. It was at this time that the sanctuary ceiling was painted. The original timber benches in the nave were retained.
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1950
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed