Lyttelton Road, Stechford, Birmingham B33
An octagonal post-Vatican II design, marked internally and externally by a fine gabled corona.
In 1919, Mgr Robert J Patten took up residence in Victoria Road, Stechford, and in 1931 a large aisled wooden church was built. The present church and attached presbytery were built on the adjacent site in 1971-2, from designs by Gerard O’Brien of Ivor Day & O’Brien (Bristol). The church was designed to seat about 750 people grouped around the central altar, and opened on 18 November 1971.The contract sum was £94, 364. The church was consecrated on 19 June 1976.
The church is an octagonal design, dominated externally by an eight-gabled central lantern, with glazing in the gables. Raking reinforced concrete piers mark the angles of the octagon, and between these large yellow brick panels have perimeter glazing. The roofs are of slate (now with solar panels on the Albert Road elevation).
The church is entered via a single-storey flat-roofed vestibule, containing a meeting room, kitchen and WCs. Within this, a wall tablet records the laying and blessing of the foundation stone by the Rt Rev. Joseph Cleary, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, on 21 November 1970. The focus of the interior is the sanctuary, which is placed centrally, with a plain brick reredos behind it, against which are placed the tabernacle and a crucifix, and behind which lies access to the sacristies and presbytery. Altar rails were omitted from the design from the outset. On either side are small side chapels dedicated to Our Lady and St Joseph. The seating is arranged in a horseshoe shape around the remaining space, above which is a pine-boarded ceiling and corona. Furnishings of note include abstract coloured glass and papier-mâché or fibreglass reredoses in the side chapels, mosaic Stations of the Cross with opus sectile figures, and the original benches.
Architect: Ivor Day & O’Brien
Original Date: 1971
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed