Whetstone Hill Road, Derker, Oldham OL1 4NA
A modest design by Reynolds & Scott, built to serve a growing part of the Oldham suburbs, its simplicity reflecting the austerity of the immediate post-war period. The church has some furnishings of note.
Derker was an ancient settlement which became a suburb of Oldham with the building of a large council estate during the 1940s. The Catholic Church bought a property known as Broadbent Farm in 1949 and obtained plans for a new church, a chapel of ease to St Anne’s seating 300, from the architects Reynolds & Scott in 1950. The foundation stone was laid in 1951 and the church opened in 1952. The builders were Ainscough & Lowe of Bolton. A marble side altar was donated from J. S. Brocklesby’s church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield, and was adapted by Alberti & Lupton to serve as the main altar. Stations of the Cross by Ferdinand Stuflesser of Ortisei were installed in 1953.
The church became a separate parish in 1957, and a presbytery and link were added in 1958-9 (architect Raymund Jay). An extension of 1974 at the west end provides a porch incorporating toilet facilities. In 1980 the sanctuary was refurbished, with the marble altar brought forward. Major repairs to the church and presbytery followed soon afterwards.
All orientations given are liturgical. The church is of brownish brick laid in Flemish bond and is a single vessel lit by flat-headed windows on north and south sides. The east end is windowless and the original west entrance, flanked by small narrow windows with Sacred Heart motifs, is obscured by a lower, later extension. A small Sacred Heart statue stands in a niche above the former entrance.
Inside there is a flat ceiling and an arched recess at the east end. The marble altar came from the church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield, and has a carved Pelican in her Piety on the frontal; it has been moved to a forward position. Other marble furnishings include plinths inscribed with gold lettering supporting statues of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart. The carved timber Stations of the Cross are by Stuflesser (acquired 1953).
*Update: The church closed in c.2018*
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1952
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed