Common Road, Newton-le-Willows WA12
A late example of the loosely Italian Romanesque style that was popular for Catholic churches in the interwar years, with a wide and spacious interior.
The parish was erected in 1932. The present church was built in 1957 from designs by Felix Jones, of Jones & Kelly, Dublin. It was built to accommodate a projected increase in the local population from residential development on Newton Common. In the event the development did not take place and the church has always been too large for the regular congregation.
The exterior is of red brick, partly faced in pebbledash, with concrete pantiles to the main roofs and copper coverings to the three eastern semi-domes. The plan comprises an aisled nave with western porch and flanking stair towers, transepts, tall tower in the angle between the nave and the south transept, apsidal sanctuary and apsidal chapels opening off the transepts. The west gable wall is faced in red brick, with a single-storey triple-arched porch between two flat-roofed stair towers. Above the porch the west wall has three tall thin round-headed windows under a relieving arch. The shallow west gable rises above the stair towers. The nave is four bays long, with pebbledashed facings to the walls and red brick stepped buttresses. The aisles are blind and have shallow lean-to roofs. The nave clerestorey above has a curious rhythm of two long windows set between two short ones. The tall thin tower is of red brick, with a pyramidal roof. The whole of the eastern party of the church is faced in pebbledash, with triple windows in the ends of the transepts set under a brick relieving arch and small single windows with brick arches elsewhere. The three eastern apses of the sanctuary and side chapels are all blind.
The interior is simply and well handled. The principal bay divisions of the nave are marked by pilasters, from which spring plaster quadripartite vaults. In each main bay are three brick arches opening into the passage aisles. At the west end of the nave is a brick gallery with three arches to the entrance porch. The transepts also have quadripartite vaults, but the sanctuary has a tunnel vault and the side chapels have flat ceilings. Alone of all the church, the walls of the sanctuary are plastered, elsewhere the walls are bare brick. The fittings include a pulpit on the northeast respond of the crossing and benches in the body of the church, possibly re-used from the previous church.
Entry amended by AHP 10.01.2021
Architect: Jones & Kelly
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed