Mauldeth Road, Heaton Mersey, Stockport SK4 3NB
© Copyright Gerald England and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence
A building of relatively simple yet monumental design recalling Art Deco-inspired architecture of the interwar years. It is simply treated inside and the exterior incorporates a good modern carved figure of Christ.
Heaton Mersey is an area which developed in the later nineteenth century largely as a residential area, with some industry along the banks of the River Mersey. Originally part of Manchester, it was absorbed into Stockport in 1913. A temporary chapel was opened in 1911 to cater for the increase in population. The foundation stone of the new church was laid in June 1950 by Bishop Marshall and the church was opened in 1951. The architect was Harold Greenhalgh of Greenhalgh & Williams, working to a tight budget and producing a simple design of pre-war character. Greenhalgh & Williams were also responsible for the linked presbytery, added in 1959 (the parish had been canonically erected in 1952). A parish centre was built behind the church in 1982. The sanctuary was reordered in 1986 and new wiring and lighting was installed in 1995.
Archive photographs of the interior before reordering show that the reredos was retained, but the altar was brought forward and dais removed, together with the altar rails. At this or another time the baptistery was converted to a piety stall and a new font provided within the body of the church.
All orientations given are liturgical. The church is of brown brick laid in stretcher bond with soldier courses at the eaves and concrete dressings. The frontispiece takes the form of flat-topped pylons, that at the centre taller and breaking forward. There is a central round-arched entrance with a modern sculpture of Christ rising from the central cross over. Tall round-arched windows are ranged along the sides of the nave. The simplicity of the treatment continues inside, where the aisleless interior has a flat ceiling and round-arched opening to the chancel flanked by lesser arches to the Lady and Sacred Heart chapels. The narthex has at one end the former baptistery, with figurative glass probably by Lightfoots of Manchester. The area retains the green marble font, converted to a table, and attractive wrought-and cast-iron gates.
Architect: Greenhalgh & Williams
Original Date: 1951
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed