Vale Road, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire DY13
A functional 1970s steel-framed and brick church with a large, square worship space.
Mass was first said in modern times at Stourport on Septuagesima Sunday 1909 in Miss Randall’s tearooms, which continued to be used for many years, served from Kidderminster. In June 1934 Alderman Thomas Pensotti conveyed a piece of ground on Lodge Road, and a temporary chapel, dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, was built upon it. Two years later land at Lion Hill was purchased for the building of the present church although progress seems to have been somewhat slow and tortuous. In 1966 permission was obtained for the new church plus a presbytery and hall to plans by Denny and Bryan of Watford (reported in the Catholic Building Review) but these seem to have come to nought. The next reported design was in 1971 by Radford Harper Associates. Scarisbrick records Henry J. Harper as the architect and the date of building as 1973. Consecration took place in 1983.
The church is a large square space, the back of which is a large glazed narthex running the width of the building internally. To the southeast side is a chapel and sacristy. It has a pre-cast concrete frame and steel joists for the covering which are exposed internally; it has a red brick cladding and concrete tiled pitched roofs. The side fenestration consists of tall thin rectangular openings; at the front there is a timber and glass front to the narthex with dimpled glass and timber window and door framing. The rear wall behind the sanctuary is blind. The dominant external feature is a vertical slab of glazing two-thirds of the way down the church towards the sanctuary which then returns by means of a monopitch roof over the sanctuary. There is a top-lit feature to illuminate the sanctuary through yellow glass.
The interior is open with merely the plain clear glass screen between the narthex and body of the church. The east part of the building is brightly lit thanks to the vertical glazed feature, the west end less so. The walls are textured and the ceiling over the east end has a patterned Artex-type finish. There are no fittings or furnishings which require special notice.
Architect: Henry J. Harper
Original Date: 1973
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed