Matthias Street, Morecambe LA4 5JR
The earliest Catholic church in Morecambe, built to the designs of Pugin & Pugin. Church and presbytery make a good group in the town centre, and the interior of the church, while altered, is pleasing.
This was the first Catholic church to be built in the expanding nineteenth century seaside town. Foundation stone laid 21 April 1895 by Dr Whiteside, Bishop of Liverpool. Designed to accommodate up to 300. Architects Pugin & Pugin, contractor Charles Walker of Preston. Cost about £3,000.
Decorated style, brick faced in rugged ashlar. Attached presbytery to south and parish room to east similarly faced.
West bellcote, west porch and north aisle with a wheel window, west end. The interior is pleasing, with a north arcade of octagonal piers, an elaborate open timber roof with pierced arch braces rising from big stone corbels, and a west organ gallery with open arcaded front. Modern emulsion paint conceals a rich original polychromatic scheme of stencil decoration (visible on nave north side where paint has come away). On the south side, confessionals and the link to the presbytery.
The chancel has been stripped of its original furnishings, the earliest being the pulpit of 1935. Otherwise, a sparse and incoherent post-Vatican II reordering. The most elaborate furnishing is the ornate reredos in the Lady Chapel, with a canopy and Our Lady flanked by reliefs showing the Flight into Egypt and a Pieta. Sanctuary east window, 1955, with the Crucifixion and St Thomas More, St John Fisher, the Virgin and St John. Good original benches in nave. The attached presbytery is contemporary and very plain. Asymmetrical with mullioned windows and a large central chimney breast rising above the roof.
Architect: Pugin & Pugin
Original Date: 1895
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed