Brandlee, Dawley, Telford, Shropshire TF4
A multi-purpose structure of the 1980s, of no particular architectural or historic interest.
The first dedicated place for Catholic worship in Dawley – in modern times – was a World War I wooden hut. Acquired from the RAF, the hut was erected on Paddock Mound in June 1964. It gave nineteen years of service before being considered so run-down as to be fit only for demolition. Between 1980 and 1983 the Anglicans and the Methodists permitted the local Catholic community to make use of St Leonards and the Dawley Christian Centre respectively. The existing church, designed by a Shrewsbury-based architect and opened in June 1983, was as a multi-purpose structure, capable of seating 100 during services.
St Paul’s is a brick-built church of rectangular plan form. Central to this building’s architectural impact is its generous hipped and gableted roof, covered with machine- made interlocking pantiles. The roof projects over brick buttresses to east and west and its eaves appear all the more generous at the west end where the walling is recessed. The body of the church is lit by a run of clerestory windows set immediately beneath the eaves.
The church is entered at its southeast corner via a lobby with WCs. A small kitchen is accommodated at the north-eastern corner. The main interior has three pierced I- sectioned beams spanning the space – performing the role, respectively, of purlins and ridge beam. The impact of these beams is heightened by the fact that the walls are of bare brick and the plaster of the ceiling pitches plain painted. Upon the parquet floor are set out chairs which can be cleared and stacked with ease, enabling the space to be used for other purposes. Another great beam (this time concealed) provides the structural support for the fenestration and brickwork of the upper parts of the wall between the body of the church and the sanctuary. The latter space lacks is darker, lit by two rooflights and light borrowed from the body of the church. Two doors from the sanctuary give access to the sacristy and a storage room. The sanctuary is not afforded greater levels of decoration than the body of the church. Both altar and ambo are wooden and of simple design. The Stations of the Cross appear to be of late-nineteenth century date, and came from a Marist convent in Devon.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1983
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed