Ashingdon Road, Rochford, Essex SS4
The church is a functional and economical octagonal design of the 1970s. It lies behind the presbytery, a listed timber framed building.
The first church in Rochford was opened in December 1949. The present church was built in 1976-7 at the same time as the nearby primary school. Recently a parish hall has been added.
The architect’s brief was to provide accommodation for 200 on a very limited budget. His solution was an octagonal main church building with a large foyer which contains the main entrance. The construction is of loadbearing walls with red facing bricks externally. The roof is an eccentric octagonal cone made of welded steel tube, decked with plywood and insulation board and covered with copper-faced bituminous felt with a glass lantern at the apex. The external walls are blind apart from a continuous strip-clerestory hidden under the deep eaves.
Inside, the walls are plain plastered, the steel roof structure exposed and the underside of the roof finished with boarding. The sanctuary area is located against the wall furthest from the entrance and the seating is arranged in a horseshoe fashion. The Blessed Sacrament is housed to the right of the sanctuary in a space defined by a freestanding brick wall on a raised floor. The sunken space behind the wall was intended for an organ. The clerestory windows are generally clear glazed, but behind the altar the clerestory is enlarged and filled with dalle de verre glass.
Architect: Francis Weal & Partners
Original Date: 1976
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed