Welby Lane, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
A concrete-framed church typical of the 1960s which retains something of its original interior character.
*Update: Church closed in 2019*
The Catholic mother church of Melton Mowbray is St John the Baptist in Thorpe End (qv). During the 1960s funds were raised by Fr Newsham for a new church, intended to serve the residential area north of the centre of the town. The new chapel-of-ease, dedicated to St Peter, was built in Welby Lane. It was designed by Thomas Wilson of Oakham, architect of a number of post-Vatican II churches in the diocese, and was completed in 1964. In 2007 the confessionals and Lady Chapel on the south side of the building were combined to create a large multi-purpose area with ancillary facilities and a new main entrance.
The church is an unaisled building with a concrete portal frame. The walls are faced with buff-coloured brick and the shallow-pitched overall roof appears to be covered with felt. The face of the west end wall is slightly recessed, exposing the end frame. The wide central entrance is carried up to the gable as a window with wide horizontal members. Set on the apex of the gable is an open metal frame for a single bell. To the right of this front (the liturgical south side) is the modern entrance to the new parish centre; to the left is a single-storey projecting baptistery with a fully-glazed west side and a canted north end. The central section of the north wall is fully-glazed with seven tall lights in a concrete mullioned frame. The eastern end has a single round window high in the wall above a single-storey flat-roofed sacristy. Along the south side of the church is the modern parish centre with a long strip of clerestorey windows above it.
The interior is a broad space with a western gallery over an enclosed narthex and a shallow side-lit sanctuary central recess in the east end. The walls are faced with bare brick, with the concrete frames exposed. The ceiling is boarded. The windows are clear-glazed. The recent re-ordering entailed reducing the number of sanctuary steps, removing the sanctuary rails and bringing the altar forward. A new stone ambo was made to match the altar and parts of the old rail were incorporated in its design. The font was moved from the northwest baptistery to the sanctuary. At the same time the etched glass Stations of the Cross which had originally formed the partition between the church and the Lady Chapel were mounted against a new solid wall dividing the church from the multi-purpose space. Under the western gallery are modern stained glass panels representing the Sacraments. The nave benches are presumably original.
Architect: Thomas Wilson
Original Date: 1964
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed