Barrack Hill, Romiley, Stockport SK6
An attractive interwar church in Italian Romanesque style, with some original fittings of good quality. The later additions are of lesser quality.
The mission was served from St Joseph’s, Stockport until 1912, when the Sisters of Charity of our Lady of Evron acquired Harrytown Hall as a school and convent; Mass was first said in their chapel in 1912. The sisters provided land for a new church, built at a cost of £3,360 to designs by Edmund Kirby & Sons and opened by Bishop Moriarty in 1932. After the Second Vatican Council, Fr Elcock made some radical changes by replacing the small apsidal 1932 sanctuary with a large rectangular east end with central altar (Plumb states that this addition was made in 1981). The large parish hall was built at a lower level to the east in the 1960s, with a basement extending beneath the new east end. The hall was extended for a youth centre in 1977.
The church is designed in an Italian Romanesque style with internal aisles, a gabled west end and semi-circular windows. The building is faced in a dragwire red brick laid in stretcher bond, with clay Roman tiles to the roof, deep eaves and cast-iron rainwater goods. The sanctuary is to the west end of the church; this will be referred to as the east end in this description. The west end faces the road, with a pedimented porch supported on columns with cushion capitals. The semi-circular tympanum over the double doors has a mosaic panel depicting St Christopher. Lancets flank the doorway, and over the porch is a circular window with steel glazing bars in a star pattern. The four-bay nave has lancets with shaped heads and leaded glazing in steel frames. The later east end is taller and wider than the 1932 church, forming a T-plan. It is faced in red brick with full-height narrow lights, and a clay tiled roof.
Inside, the nave and west narthex retains 1932 features such as the barrel-vaulted plastered ceiling carried on timber octagonal columns, metal screen to the former baptistery below the gallery, timber gallery front and stairs. The pitch pine pews are not shown on an early photograph and were probably brought here from another church. There is a pipe organ in the gallery. Walls are plain plastered and the floor is laid with pine boards, partly carpeted. The Stations of the Cross are carved wood, probably from the Italian Tyrol. Beyond the semi-circular sanctuary arch, the east end dates from the later remodelling. Here, the main feature is the central altar dais with a plain timber altar. The octagonal font is marble. The sanctuary has coloured glass east windows in an abstract design, installed at the time of the extension. To the north the coloured glass dates from 2000.
Architect: Edmund Kirby & Sons
Original Date: 1932
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed