Sheepcotes Lane, Silver End, Essex CM8
An interesting design of the 1960s, built on a budget to allow for later extension. It is on the edge of an inter-war model village, built for the workers at Crittall & Co.
Silver End was developed in the 1920s and 30s as a model village for the workers at the factory of Francis Henry Crittall. A Mass centre was established in 1932, initially served from Kelvedon and then from Witham. The site of the current church was given by Crittall & Co. in exchange for another site which had been acquired for a church in 1960. The church was built from designs by Martin Evans ARIBA of London W11 and opened on 9 November 1966. Semi-circular on plan, it was designed to be later extended to form a circular design. The church seated seventy people, and cost £8500. The builders were Messrs Frederick J. French of Chelmsford. The church is served from Witham.
The church is semi-circular on plan, with a spiral roof wrapping around a reinforced concrete column surmounted by a concrete cross. The design is likened by The Buildings ofEnglandto a snail’s shell. It is externally clad in white brick laid in stretcher bond, with Fletton-type bricks on the ‘straight’ side (which was designed to allow for later extension). The roof is of natural Welsh slate, with deep gutterless overhanging eaves to the curved walls. The glazing is confined to the straight side, with tall slender lights below and a glazed clerestory above. Inside, the walls are of bare brick, and the Douglas fir rafters of the roof are exposed. Wall posts form an ambulatory around the perimeter. Seating consists of individual chairs. There is a small sanctuary area with a grey/white brick altar with grey marble mensa.
Architect: Martin Evans
Original Date: 1966
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed