Laughton Way, Lincoln
A late, large church by Reynolds & Scott, in more contemporary mode and with some good furnishings.
Our Lady of Lincoln parish covers the north and east of Lincoln city together with its rural hinterland. In 1931 Mass was first said in a room over the Co-op shop on Wragby Road and in 1933 a temporary wooden church was erected in Oval Approach, St Giles. In the 1950s the Ermine housing estate was developed and the Diocese of Nottingham acquired a large plot of land on the corner of Laughton Way and Cabourne Avenue. A school was opened first, in 1963, on Laughton Way, west of the church, the foundation stone of which was laid on 19 September that year and which was opened on December 8 the following year. The parish centre was built on the south side of the church and opened on 18 November 1980. In 2001 new facilities linking the church hall and presbytery were added, from designs by John Halton Design Ltd; the same firm has produced current (2010) plans to add a new entrance and porch to the church.
The altar faces south but for the purposes of this description all reference to compass points will assume a conventional eastward facing altar. The church is cruciform with a broad central space and short projecting arms. It has a concrete frame, exposed internally and clad in red brick externally. On three sides there are immense mullioned and transomed windows which fill more than half of the end elevations and are divided into two parts by a concrete pier rising to the centre of a gable. The glazed areas are divided into seven horizontal bands, alternately deep and shallow, with the uppermost band filling the gabled area. These glazed ends are angled forward in a shallow arrow plan. Heavy overhanging eaves and a pitched felt roof surmounted by a turret and flèche. The entrance is understated, at the northwest corner. The proposed new porch will give a much more imposing entrance.
The overwhelming impression on entering the main body of the church is the immense volume, both in terms of height, up to the underside of the roof, and the breadth, the cruciform arms becoming less significant. There is no division between nave and sanctuary and there are no aisles. The narthex is separated by a highly glazed timber screen with a flat roof which cuts across the west window. The sanctuary is denoted by its raised and stepped platform and by a deeply projecting altar canopy, the centre rising to a gable. The rear wall forms a canted recess and was redecorated in 1999 by Nigel Leaney with marble and Cosmati panels (a form of mosaic or opus sectile). The ambo is also decorated in Cosmati work, as is the paschal candle. Abstract stained glass with symbolic images and sacred monograms in horizontal and vertical bands across the windows are of the time of the church, said to be by Baxendale of Sheffield (possibly Baxendale Kayll of Leeds, as Sheffield Local Studies can find no reference to a firm called Baxendale in Sheffield at that time). To the right of the sanctuary a small Lady Chapel, refurbished in 2000. This has marble panelled walls and a stone statue of Our Lady holding the Infant Jesus.
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1963
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed