Lower Road, Cookham Rise, Berkshire
A modest building, erected to accommodate the needs of Catholics in the area north of Maidenhead. It is an effective, functional space but, being built to a fairly small budget, is low-key architecturally. The use of laminated trusses for the main structure was a very popular feature at the time (cf. the exactly contemporary Our Lady of Peace, Wargrave).
The site was purchased after the Second World War and was let out for allotments. The working men’s clubroom near the railway station was used for Sunday Mass until the church was opened in 1963. The architect, Max G. Cross of Geens Cross & Sims of Bournemouth, was also responsible for the western (liturgical) extension to St Joseph, Maidenhead (commissioned 1963, completed 1965). The cost was £18,000 and provision was made for 220 people.
The church is oriented north so all directions here are liturgical.
A single, tiled roof covers the nave, west entrance lobby (including toilet, kitchen and confessional), and eastern sacristy and utility area. It is built of buff bricks and has a roof of corrugated clay tiles. The west end has a tall round arch which embraces the entrance and a three-light mullioned window. The side walls are pairs of plain round-arched window with metal casements: the arch heads are formed on tiles set edge on.
Beyond the entrance area the nave has six-bays divided by laminated timber trusses. The shallow sacristy lies beyond a round arch and is flanked by the sacristy and utility area. The nave floor is covered with thermoplastic tiles while the sanctuary is floored with terrazzo. The altar stands on three steps. Over the sanctuary arch is a painting (on canvas?) of the Virgin and St Elizabeth. The altar rail has thin brass balusters.
Architect: Geens Cross & Sims
Original Date: 1963
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed