St Elmo’s Road, London SE16
A modern church built to serve the new residential population of the reclaimed dockland area known as Surrey Docks. The church is architecturally modest, perhaps its most notable feature being some dalle de verre glass by Charles Norris OSB.
The first church of the Immaculate Conception was opened in Rotherhithe in 1858 (consecration leaflet) or 1861 (Evinson), later becoming a convent. This was destroyed by wartime bombing and not rebuilt. The present church and adjacent primary school were necessitated by the housing redevelopment (from the 1980s onwards) of the former dockland area now known as Surrey Docks. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Howard Tripp on 18 December 1987, and the church was completed and consecrated a year later. The architect was Gerald Murphy of Burles, Newton & Partners.
The building is of yellow brick, and is square on plan. The northeast corner has a raised tower feature, with the brickwork on the corner hollowed out in the form of a chamfer and recessed entrances on either side. Flanking this are lower blocks, windowless on the outer faces. The roof to the rear falls in a steep slate and solar- panel clad monopitch. Interior not inspected. As described by Evinson, it is fan-shaped, with the altar at the angle opposite the entrance. It has a raked timber roof punctuated by rectangular windows descending towards the sanctuary. Recesses to right and left house the Blessed Sacrament and the Sanctuary. There is a suite of stone sanctuary furniture and six stained glass windows with dalle de verre glass by Charles Norris OSB of Buckfast Abbey.
Architect: Burles, Newton & Partners
Original Date: 1987
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed