St Thomas Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire
A recent church of contemporary design, incorporating some furnishings from the previous (M.E. Hadfield & Son) church.
In 1874 Thomas Arthur Young, Catholic lord of the manor of Kingerby, purchased the site at the corner of St Thomas’s Road and Henrietta Street and offered it to the Norbertine Order at Tongerloo Abbey, Belgium, at the same time offering to fund the building of a church. This church, designed by M. E. Hadfield & Son of Sheffield, well known architects of Catholic churches, was built in 1876-9. In 2001 a brief was drawn up for a new church to seat 200 to 230 people with a church hall, parish rooms and a new priory. Planning permission was granted the following year and the site cleared of all existing buildings in 2003. John Halton Design Ltd. were appointed as agent, whilst John Roberts Architects developed the design with Langwith Builders through a design and build procurement process. The new complex was completed in 2004.
The altar faces southwest but for the purposes of this description all reference to compass points will assume a conventional eastward facing altar. Steel-framed with brick cladding over a blockwork plinth. The body of the church is a rectangle with chamfered corners and a chamfered indent defining the sanctuary. The main roof is divided into three parts with an inverted or butterfly centre section, raised above a clerestory, and shallow pitched side sections. These too have a clerestory on the north and south sides. At the west end a low irregular polygonal narthex with eaves carried over a canopied entrance. Large window above rising into the clerestory. The east end has a large stainless steel cross, flanked by narrow vertical windows. The ancillary buildings are built up against the south side. The glazing is set within powder-coated aluminium frames. Within the screen which separates the narthex from the church nineteenth stained glass windows from the old church are set. The interior is light and spacious, with slender steel columns or pilotis supporting the central section of the roof. The roofs are of very shallow pitch, giving a box-like character to the internal space. Large octagonal canopy over the sanctuary. Of the furnishings, the crucifix, Stations of the Cross, tabernacle and marble font are all from the old church. Dramatic stained glass of the Risen Christ in the west window, 2004 by David J. B. Sear of Lincolnshire Stained Glass Studio, who also executed the other contemporary glass to the architect’s designs.
Architect: John Roberts Architects Ltd.
Original Date: 2004
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed