Higgins Lane, Quinton, Birmingham, B32
A modest post-war suburban church, using modern materials to provide a spacious, flexible interior.
This parish on the south side of Birmingham was created to serve a growing residential suburb that developed around the rural village of Ridgeacre in the mid-twentieth century; this area did not become part of Birmingham until 1909. Between 1945 and 1957, 737 houses were built on the Quinton Estate. Catholics in Quinton were initially served from St Mary’s Harborne, when Mass was said in a local school. Later, and up to the 1950s, Quinton was part of the parish of Our Lady and St Hubert at Warley, and Mass was said in a public hall on Ridgeacre Road, which acted as a chapel of ease. The parish was created in 1952 when a dual-purpose hall and church opened. The latter was used for Mass until the current church was built in 1978, and now serves as the parish hall. The HCC list credits Henry J. Harper with the design of the church, although it has all the appearances of a design by Lanner of Wakefield.
The 1978 church has a hexagonal plan with a projecting flat-roofed narthex facing the road to the north, and the flat-roofed sacristy projecting to the south. In this description liturgical compass points will be used. The building is faced in a red brick laid in stretcher bond, the hexagonal roof is laid with concrete tiles and topped with a copper fleche. Full-height windows are all uPVC, set between brick piers. The entrance has hardwood double doors beneath a flat canopy, with flanking windows.
The interior is a light, well-lit volume with laminated timber trusses from floor to the roof apex; the roof soffit is lined with acoustic panels. The nave floor is laid with linoleum tiles, and walls are fair-faced brick. The sanctuary and nave are all under the same roof, the sanctuary defined by a raised platform, laid with carpet. The reredos comprises a hexagonal panel above a simple shelf for the tabernacle. Sanctuary fittings include a marble altar. There are hardwood doors to the sacristy and confessional flanking the sanctuary on the east wall. The narthex is separated from the nave by a glass and hardwood-framed screen, with linoleum floor and flat ceiling. The building appears to contain no fittings relocated from the 1952 church.
Architect: H. J. Harper (unconfirmed attribution)
Original Date: 1978
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed