Building » Nottingham (Stapleford) – St John the Evangelist (chapel-of-ease)

Nottingham (Stapleford) – St John the Evangelist (chapel-of-ease)

Midland Avenue, Stapleford, Nottingham NG9

A utilitarian brick design of the early 1950s, in the stripped basilican style popular at that time. An intended tower was never built.

In 1933 a former furniture shop on Derby Road became the first Mass Centre in Stapleford and was known as ‘the upper room’. Eighteen months later the site in Midland Road was acquired for a permanent church. However, it was not until 6 October 1951 that Bishop Ellis laid the foundation stone for the present church. Plans were prepared by J. W. M. Dudding FRIBA of Regent Street, Nottingham and originally allowed for a 40 ft tower on the north side and presbytery to the east (in the event the tower was never built on account of a shortage of building materials and funds, and a building in Lime Grove continued to serve as the presbytery). The contractor was F. Perks & Son of long Eaton. The church was designed to seat approximately 175, and the cost was about £8,500, minus the furnishings. The first Mass was said in the new church on Sunday 2 November 1952. A parish hall was built shortly afterwards. The church has since been altered and extended on the south side.

The Diocesan Yearbook for 1953 described the furnishing of the new church:

‘The altar is built of stone quarried near Dale, and consists of a slab 8 feet by 4 feet supported on five columns, an idea reminiscent of the catacombs, where such altar arrangements are frequent […] Behind and above the altar is the reredos in unstained oak, surmounted by an impressive baldacchino. The carving is the traditional vine, a symbol of Our Divine Lord and the Blessed Sacrament. Above the Tabernacle a carved and hammered oak dove is suspended. The candlesticks and sanctuary lamp to match, designed by the parish priest, are finished in chromium, the better to tone with the oak of the church, all of which is in its natural colour. The font is the special design of the architect, Mr J. W. M. Dudding, of Nottingham. The cover has a bronze cross which, by turning, acts as a lock to keep the cover in position. The choir gallery over the entrance has a reed organ with an electric blower’.

Stapleford was an independent parish from 1947 to 2003, whereupon it became a chapel-of-ease to Ilkeston.


A small church in the reduced basilican style popular in the mid-twentieth  century. Without its intended tower, the design is somewhat utilitarian. The architect was J. W. M. Dudding of Nottingham, and copies of the original drawings are held at the diocesan archive. The church is built of red brick laid in garden wall bond (three stretchers and then a header), with reconstituted stone/concrete dressings and pantile roofs. It consists of a nave and chancel of one volume (six bays), with a narrower bay at the west end containing a choir gallery. A baptistery gives off the north side of the nave at the west end, and sacristies and ancillary structures give off the rear (south) elevation). The original main entrance was at the west end with a pair of doors within a staggered brick surround; this entrance has now been blocked and replaced with a stained glass window, and the main entrance is now via a newer addition on the south side. However the entrance door canopy survives, with an arch above, blind except for a small circular window at the top. The main elevation towards the street was intended to have a projecting tower in the second bay from the east; this was never built but the site of the proposed tower is indicated by the slight projection and rendered finish of this bay. The east end is plain and windowless, with a raised brick cross in the brickwork. The windows are metal framed, with soldier courses in the lintels and tile sills. The contemporary and later flat-roofed additions on the south side follow the design and materials of the original build. Interior not inspected.

Heritage Details

Architect: J. W. M. Dudding

Original Date: 1951

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed