Building » Preston – St Anthony of Padua

Preston – St Anthony of Padua

Cadley Causeway, Cadley, Preston PR2 3RX.

  • Parish flickr account

The culmination of the major Preston church building programme of the 1950s and an impressive late work by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, his last new church, essentially unaltered.

The parish was founded in 1943 from St Augustine’s Preston, and started with a temporary church built by volunteers. A small school was built in 1950, and the foundation stone of the church was laid in 1958. The completed building was opened by Bishop Flynn on 15 November 1959. It is the last new church by the eminent Catholic architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, designer of a number of Catholic churches and of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. Scott died in 1960.

A new social centre was built in 1972 and a new presbytery in 1976.


Large church consisting of nave and chancel with continuous clerestory, lean-to aisles to nave and tall tapering tower at southwest corner. Top of tower possibly completed later (change of brick).

The church is brick-built, laid in stretcher bond with a header course every sixth course. Central  round-arched  entrance  on  gabled  west  front  with stone  sculpture  in tympanum, and circular window in gable above. Double pantile roof to nave and aisles. Buttresses with stone offsets marking the bays; the clerestory above of eight round-arched openings per bay (these and all the windows visually marred by polycarbonate protection).

The interior design is one of great refinement, with close attention to detail and finishes. Great arches divide the bays of nave, the side walls of which are solid save for where they are punctured to allow for aisle circulation. The emphasis is on a clear and unobstructed view of the sanctuary; the function of the aisles is purely for circulation. There is a narthex at the west end under a choir and organ gallery, faced in stone and with small-paned windows with leaded rectangular cames. A dado or plinth in the same stone runs around the perimeter, tying the interior together . The altar rail is a solid low wall in the same stone. The altar is placed under a high baldacchino supported on stylised Corinthian columns. There is a newer timber forward altar. In the south aisle Lady Chapel the statue of Our Lady is framed by Corinthian half columns with spiral fluting.

Entry amended by AHP 10.12.2020

Heritage Details

Architect: Sir Giles Gilbert Scott OM

Original Date: 1959

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed