Harrow Road, Sudbury, Wembley, Middlesex HA0
A stately English Perpendicular Gothic design of the 1920s, with some furnishings of note. The design sought to reflect the national rather the Roman nature of English Catholicism.
In the 1920s Sudbury was a rapidly-developing affluent suburb. A site for a new Catholic church was given by Mr George Beale when he was disposing of the Elmwood Estate, and funds for the building work were given by Miss Francis Westwood of Marylebone. At her request, Fr Clement Lloyd Russell, a former Anglican clergyman, was appointed first parish priest. Fr Russell was concerned to emphasise the national origins of revived Catholicism rather than adopt Roman models of architecture, ornament and ritual, and the design of both the church and the presbytery buildings reflect this concern. He and Miss Westwood had been greatly impressed by the architect James Leonard Williams’s Catholic church of All Saints, Oxted, Surrey (1914-19). They asked Williams to prepare designs for a church in Perpendicular Gothic style, with an attached presbytery clearly influenced by English vernacular models. The foundation stone was laid by Fr Russell on 23 November 1925. Work progressed slowly (during which time a temporary church was used) and neither patron nor architect lived to see the project through; Miss Westwood died on 14 April 1926, and Williams on 3 May 1927. After some delay, the building was completed under the direction of J. Eustace Salisbury of Harpenden (1876-1929), and the church was consecrated by Bishop Butt in 1928. The interior was enriched largely with the help of benefactions from a local parishioner, Miss Agatha Mayson. She paid for the high altar reredos, the Lady Altar reredos and screen and the rood beam and figures. There have been various schemes to extend the church at the west end, none of them executed. The sanctuary was reordered in the early 1990s by Ruddy Construction, a design and build firm, in collaboration with Carmel Cauchi. This involved the conversion of the north chapel and sacristy to south to provide additional seating areas. Further work was undertaken by Anthony Delarue in the early twenty-first-century, including new ironwork and light fittings.
The building is described in the list entry, below. The sanctuary has been reordered and a lectern an octagonal forward altar installed from designs by Carmel Cauchi. Stained glass includes an abstract east window of 1996, two windows of the 1980s in the sanctuary in memory of parish priests, a crucifixion in the south aisle (1926, from the temporary church) and a window in the north transept in memory of Fr Russell (Joseph Nuttgens, 1966).
Church with attached priest’s house. 1925-8 by Leonard Williams, completed after his death in 1927 by Eustace Salisbury. Stock brick with stone dressings, the piers and much of the internal decoration of the church also of stone. Tile roofs, tile hanging to first floor of house, the ground floor of which is rendered. Two-bay aisle nave with narthex under western organ gallery, and vaulted octagonal western baptistery. Porches to north and south. Transepts, that to the north with porch and two-bay side chapel, that to the south linked with house and giving on to sacristy in chancel south aisle. A blocked arcade denotes the sacristy. Two-bay chancel with north chancel chapel. Flat boarded ceiling over deep cove. The church is in the Perpendicular style, with four-pointed arches, and windows of two or three lights and with cusping. Doors to north and south porches and north transept with hood-moulds and dripstone blocks awaiting future carving. South porch with statue of St George in elaborate stone niche. Four-pointed arcades with deeply-moulded circular capitals, that abutting the sacristy blocked, but with panelled screen set against it having three-seat sedilia, stoop and linenfold panelling. Open traceried screens of great craftsmanship separate the north aisle chapel from the chancel and transept. The choir benches also have cusped tracery. Panelled reredos with tester and Sarum altar with angels. Stone pulpit under rood. North aisle chapel with altar, gilded reredos and reticulated tracery panelling behind. The abutting house, reached through the south transept and sacristy, is of four asymmetrical bays, and of two storeys with dormers. Single stack. All windows with mullions and leaded lights. The porch left-of-centre has a four-centred arch leading to panelled door. Rear elevation similar with catslide roof to left.
Listing NGR: TQ1617585780
Architect: Leonard Williams, completed by J. Eustace Salisbury
Original Date: 1928
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Grade II