Ringland Avenue, Ringland Estate, Newport, NP19 9PL
A functional design of the early 1960s, built to serve a post-war housing estate, which despite its economical character nevertheless shows the influence of national and international trends in church design.
Ringland was developed with local authority housing in the 1950s and 60s. A Catholic parish was established and the present church built in 1963 (Directory and Year Book). The architect has not been established, but the building bears some of the hallmarks of the work of F. R. Bates, Son & Price, who enjoyed a virtual monopoly of Catholic church building in South Wales at this time.
In circa 2001 the interior was subdivided to create a parish hall at the west end of the nave. The church now forms part of the large All Saints parish, served from St Mary’s, Newport.
A steel framed structure, externally rendered and painted while, with an asymmetrical pitched roof clad in concrete tiles and a flat-roofed forebuilding or narthex at the west end. There are large areas of glazing in one half of the western gable end, and in the north wall of the sanctuary, with further windows on the south wall of the nave, but the north wall of the nave facing the road is windowless, the plain wall surface given a facetted treatment. Despite is economical and functional character, the design shows the influence of contemporary developments in church design, the zig-zag walls recalling the churches of Basil Spence and the large window on the side of the sanctuary distantly echoing Werner Moser’s influential 1941 church at Zurich-Altstetten, Switzerland.
Inside, the steel framing is exposed and the walls are plastered. The nave is wide and aisleless, narrowing at the east end where a sacristy gives off the right hand side of the sanctuary. There is coloured glass in the sanctuary north window and in the upper part of the screen now subdividing the two western bays of the nave to create a separate hall/social space. A brass inscription records those to whom the coloured glass in the screen is dedicated (parishioners, and also the victims of the U.S. terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001). Within the social space is an iron gate which originally led to the baptistery. The sanctuary furnishings are of timber, and plain; there are no furnishings calling for special mention.
Architect: Probably F. R. Bates, Son & Price
Original Date: 1963
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed