Building » Sunbury-on-Thames – St Ignatius of Loyola

Sunbury-on-Thames – St Ignatius of Loyola

Green Street, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16

A fairly small Victorian Gothic Revival church in the Early English style by C. A. Buckler. Internal fittings of note include a fine painted apse ceiling, possibly by Nathaniel Westlake. The church is relatively little altered both outside and in, and makes a positive contribution to the local townscape.

The VCH reports that from 1849 a priest from Weybridge said Mass in a cottage in the Staines Road. This was demolished when the railway was built. A cottage in Park Road was then used, and in 1855 stables in Hanworth Road were used as a church and school. By 1862 a chapel dedicated to St Ignatius of Loyola (suggesting a Jesuit connection) was being served from North Hyde; this is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1864-65 in Hanworth Road (described as St Leonard’s). The present church was built in 1869 by Whittle & Castle of Sunbury, from designs by C. A. Buckler (1825-1905) of London. Consecration took place on 22 May 1884. The parish centre dates from 1991.

The church is oriented to the west; directions given are liturgical.

The church is built of rock-faced stone with limestone dressings. It comprises a four-bay nave, a narrower, three-sided apsidal sanctuary, south aisle, and a southeast sacristy. It is roofed with slate and the slope of the aisle roof is shallower than that of the nave. At the junction of the chancel and nave there is a bellcote for a single bell. The style is a fairy simple variety of thirteenth-century, Early English Gothic. The most ambitious fenestration is in the west wall of the nave facing the road: this is a four-light Geometrical window. In the north wall of the nave are two-light windows, each with a quatrefoil in the head, whilst the windows of the aisle are lancets (three are single, one double); the sanctuary windows are, again, single and double lancets.

The internal walls are plastered and whitened. Between the nave and sanctuary is a chancel arch with foliage capitals to the corbels and, at the terminations of the hood mould, heads. The arcade has fairly slender circular piers and double-chamfered arches. The nave roof is of the arch-braced collar type. At the west end is a gallery with a Victorian pipe organ which sits above a glazed-in porch; this gallery and porch appear to be later than the building of the church. At the east end three triangular-shaped panels in the apse roof contain a depiction of Christ in Majesty, flanked by four figures, including St Ignatius and St Gregory (the artist has not been identified, but the work is very much in the style of Nathaniel Westlake). The floor of the body of the church is of travertine-like stone and would appear to be of the second half of the twentieth century.

Fixtures and fittings:

  • Font:   octagonal and bearing the emblems of the Evangelists.

  • Stained  glass: a varied collection dating from the late nineteenth century      (earliest date of death 1897) through to the late twentieth century (the      most recent window is the figure of Christ in the east window by Goddard      & Gibbs). It forms an interesting ensemble but no pieces are of      particular note.

  • Stations   of the Cross: unusual and attractive, small mosaic panels, flush with the      walls.

  • Forward   altar, of various polished stones: open in the centre, shafts at the sides.

Heritage Details

Architect: C. A. Buckler

Original Date: 1869

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed