Building » Slough – The Holy Family

Slough – The Holy Family

Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Slough, Berkshire

A very plain church of the late 1950s by Sebastian Comper, made more interesting by the narthex addition and new furnishings of 2005.

Mass was first said at Langley in August 1953, in a temporary chapel. In November 1953 fundraising began to buy a site at the crossing of Trelawney Avenue and Green Drive, with  the  aim of building  a  new  church,  presbytery  and  hall  for  Langley’s growing Catholic population. By October 1954 there were 1,000 Catholics living in the area, many with homes on the London County Council’s newly-built Langley estate. From 1955 Mass was said at 137 Trelawney Avenue, a house which Fr Geoffrey Crawfurd rented from the LCC. The site of the current church was bought from the LCC in January 1956. J. S. Comper designed the new church, designed to hold 350, and building work began in June; the builders were Kirk and Kirk of Putney. The foundation  stone  was  laid  on  3o  September,  and  the  first  Mass  was  said  on  2 February 1957. The cost of the church was £16,875.

The west end of the church was adapted in 1981 by Seely and Paget, with a gallery (always intended by the architect), repository, confessional etc moved to this end. A screen with three doors was installed beneath the gallery front. A sculpture of the Holy  Family  by  Andrew  Kennedy  of  Chadlington,  Oxon.  was  installed  in  the spandrels between the doorways facing the road.

In 2005 a new, glazed narthex enclosed the church’s west front. Designed by Stuart MacKay of Edgington, Spink and Hyne, the narthex was designed to allow around 180 people – a typical Sunday service congregation – to congregate comfortably. The new  extension includes a kitchenette and WCs.  As part  of  the renewal work the church interior was repainted, and newly-furnished (see below). A new altar to Our Lady was created at the southwest end of the nave (in place of the confessional), and a new lighting and sound system was installed. The 1981 screen below the gallery front was also removed.

The church is very popular, with about 1,000 people attending Mass each weekend.

The exterior of the building is faced in Fletton brick, with a roof of cement tiles (replacing pantiles). There are single Gothic windows in each of the nave’s five bays, and a group of three windows in the west gable end. The windows, with cast stone surrounds, contain small-paned, clear-glass leaded lights.

The interior is longitudinal on plan, with a wide aisleless nave under a roof of reinforced concrete trusses and purlins, with red cedar boarding between the rafters.

There is a narrower square-ended sanctuary, separated from the nave by a pointed chancel arch, and a gallery at the west end of the church. This was not built until 1981 due to a shortage of funds, but was included in Comper’s plans and was originally designed to house the organ.

The wooden pews are original. The carving of the risen Christ on the east wall of the sanctuary  is  by  Stephen  Foster,  and  dates  from  2005.  The  font,  ambo,  altar, tabernacle and presidential chair are by David John, sculptor and designer, and also date from 2005. On the west front of the church, the 1981 sculpture of the Holy Family by Andrew Kennedy now overlooks the interior of the narthex.

Heritage Details


Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed