Waunlanyrafon, Llanelli, SA15 3AB
A large modern (1990s) church designed by a Swansea firm of architects, on the site of an earlier church demolished in 1985. The interior has a striking timber roof.
The Llanelli mission dates originally from the 1880s. A substantial church was built on the present site in 1938, a striking modern Gothic design reminiscent of the churches of Cachemaille-Day. This was demolished in 1985 because of structural problems and was replaced by a new church and presbytery on the site. Work began in December 1993 and the church was opened by Archbishop John Ward on 11 July 1995. The church and presbytery (attached to the church by a covered walkway) were designed by The Gammon Partnership of Swansea (ex.inf. Alan Randall, Menevia Diocesan archivist). Today the parish is in the care of the Carmelites Friars.
The church is a substantial building in a modern vernacular style. The main body is rectangular with a pyramidal roof topped by a rectangular lantern with a pyramidal capping. The external walls are faced with red brick laid in stretcher bond with footings and dressings of brown brick. The roof is covered in concrete tiles. The main front towards the road has a wide gabled porch to the left, a recessed central section with four tall rectangular windows and a projecting Lady Chapel to the right with three smaller rectangular windows. The other sides are irregular. At the external angle of the Lady Chapel is a tall brick pylon and set against it is a white marble statue of the Our Lady Queen of Peace, which originally stood over the main door of the previous church. The statue presides over a small open courtyard in front of a covered walkway linking the church with the substantial two-storey presbytery, which is also of red and brown brick and has a hipped tiled roof.
The interior of the church is a single space, with the raised sanctuary platform set diagonally opposite the corner entrance. The most striking feature of the space is the timber roof with its laminated timber trusses and the boarded sloping ceiling. The floor is covered in carpet and the low side walls are plastered. Most of the windows are clear glazed, but those in the Lady Chapel have figurative stained glass which is mid-twentieth century in character and may have come from the previous church. The body of the church is filled with timber benches which are curved to focus on the sanctuary. The sanctuary furnishings, including the altar, ambo and font are of white marble and appear to be contemporary with the church.
Architect: The Gammon Partnership
Original Date: 1994
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed