Building » Miskin – All Hallows

Miskin – All Hallows

School Road, Miskin, CF72 8PG

A distinctive ‘post-modern’ design of the 1990s, arranged on a traditional longitudinal seating plan, with a large number of specially commissioned artworks and furnishings by David John and others.

In July 1969 Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff opened a hall-chapel dedicated to All Hallows on the outskirts of Llantrisant, in an area designated for new town development. This was a chapel-of-ease to Treforest. It comprised a hall with partitioned sanctuary, priest’s and servers’ sacristies, and a kitchen; the seating capacity was 150. The architect was Thomas Price of F. R. Bates, Son & Price and the cost was £17,600. The hall-chapel remained in use until the building of the present church.

In 1990 Canon Daly and architect John McAdam of Killick McAdam Urquhart Architects of Cardiff began looking for a site for a new purpose-built church. The chosen site was some 2.5 miles away from the hall-chapel and was selected for its connection to the local road network and its central location within the large and dispersed parish. The new church was built in 1995-6, opening in February 1996. It was designed to hold 220 in the main worship space, with room for 25 more in a cry room/Lady Chapel. An unusual feature of the design was that it incorporated a crypt chapel with columbarium. With the adjoining hall and presbytery, the total construction cost was £980,000.


The church is orientated roughly northeast-southwest, but this description assumes conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as of the altar was to the east.

The church is of longitudinal plan, of steel framed construction faced with pebbledash rendered blockwork, with some areas of banded walling in reconstituted stone. The long pitched roofs come down to low eaves and are covered with slate, with pointed dormer vents and some rooflights. The window frames, rainwater goods and some other details are painted red. A tower feature at the west end has a gabled roof and the entrances are at the northwest corner. The north side has a long run of rectangular windows and a rounded stair projection (to the crypt) at the northeast corner. There are tall and corner windows to the north and east of the east end. On the south side is an entrance, another long run of rectangular windows and a projecting sacristy at the southeast corner. The hall adjoins at the southeast corner.

Inside, a spacious narthex has banded grey walling and oak doors incorporating diamond glazed panels. It contains a piety stall and WCs. Doors lead off from here to the Lady Chapel, the crypt (via a spiral stair) and the parish hall (via a covered way) as well as to the main worship space. The main space is wide, with ceilings of varying levels which creates an asymmetrical effect. The ceilings are clad with eggcrate acoustic panels. The nave walls are faced with horizontal bands of cream and grey reconstituted stone, while the sanctuary walls are plastered and painted. The floors are carpeted. Direct and indirect natural lighting to the nave is provided by a combination of rooflights, clerestory and narrow aisle windows. Nave seating is arranged in two rows, splayed slightly inwards, with generous circulation space around. The benches are of beech, their ends painted grey. The sanctuary is raised up two steps and extends to the left to form a baptistery area. This part of the building is lit by windows with blue and yellow glass. The sacristy gives off to the right. A weekday/Lady Chapel lies to the north, divided from the nave by a glazed screen and reached by a separate door from the narthex. To the east of the chapel is the main staircase down to the crypt.

The church has a notable collection of artworks and furnishings by David John and others. Those by John are:

  • Marble altar
  • Fine bronze tabernacle with stainless steel reflector behind, on a marble plinth
  • Over the sanctuary, a suspended timber cross with Christ in Glory, carved in seasoned limewood and mounted on a beech and part-painted cross
  • Font (a marble cube on a slate plinth with a beech bowl with stainless steel lining)
  • In the nave, Stations of the Cross in low relief, carved in beech
  • In the Sacred Heart shrine in the southwest corner of the nave, a large relief carving of Christ among the Welsh hills, in seasoned beech
  • Wooden ambo with roundels depicting four carved beech evangelists. Not the usual representations, but portraits of three Welsh poets (Vernon Watkins, Wilfred Owen and Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ) and one composer (Alun Hodinott) (info. ex David John)
  • In the crypt, similar roundels with beech and walnut carving depicting the Welsh composer William Mathias and the poets Saunders Lewis, David Jones and R. S. Thomas (info. ex David John).

Artworks and furnishings by others are:

  • Sanctuary window, inspired by the Tree of Jesse, depicting the harp (David), the book (the Book of Wisdom), and fish (Jesus), by Amber Hiscott
  • Baptistery window, inspired by the Book of Revelation, also by Hiscott
  • Behind the font, a wrought iron crucifix behind the font, by Theo Grunewald, a parishioner
  • In the crypt, a sculpture of the Risen Christ, also by Grunewald
  • In the Lady Chapel, a fine low relief slate sculpture of Our Lady, by Michael Watts.
Heritage Details

Architect: Killick McAdam Urquhart Architects

Original Date: 1996

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed