Building » Northampton – The Sacred Heart

Northampton – The Sacred Heart

Pyramid Close, Weston Favell, Northampton

A modern church built on a budget, of striking external form and with an interior notable above all for its wall paintings.

The historic village of Weston Favell lies on the eastern side of Northampton and is now more or less absorbed into the town, following major expansion from 1968. The church lies close to the Weston Favell shopping centre, which opened in 1974. The parish (previously split between Great Billing and Abington) was formed in the same year, and the church of the Sacred Heart, served by the Sacred Heart Fathers (St Quentin) was opened by Bishop Grant in June 1976. The church is of unusual pyramidal  form; the architect was George Mathers of the Cheltenham firm  of Williams & Mathers. The contractors were the local firm of A. Glenn and Sons, who had also built the cathedral additions in 1960, and the church of St Aidan at Kingsthorpe in 1964. The church cost £147,500 and seats 300 people. The interior is notable for its wall paintings, by Martin Hughes from Cheltenham.


The church is built in a dip, with the parish social facilities and attached presbytery located at the lower level, and the church above, reached by a concrete bridge from the footpath. The church is of steel frame construction, formed by exposed ‘A’ frames meeting at the apex to create a pyramidal form. The pyramid is clad in profiled aluminium sheeting, with an integral lantern towards the apex giving top light to the interior. The parish hall and the adjoining single storey, flat-roofed presbytery are clad with red brick, with uPVC windows.

The interior is a single square volume, naturally lit from above. The altar is of carved white stone, and there is a suite of sanctuary furnishings (ambo, font, and tabernacle) with abstract patterned resin cladding. Before the sanctuary hangs a white cross with a clothed figure of the teaching Christ. Behind the altar on the wall of the sanctuary is a striking large painting of the Last Supper by Martin Hughes. On the other three walls are further large paintings by Hughes, the Way of the Cross, some twenty feet high. The benches were made by the joinery firm of Alan Blenkinsop. The organ console is on the left hand side, with its pipes located in a projection over the entrance. At each side of the sanctuary are steps leading down to the sacristy, presbytery and parish hall.

Heritage Details

Architect: Williams & Mathers

Original Date: 1976

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed