Building » Thorntree – Corpus Christi

Thorntree – Corpus Christi

The Greenway, Thorntree, Middlesbrough

The church of Christ the King was built at the end of the 1950s and hence before changes in design that followed on from Vatican II. It is a long, broad structure without aisles but with a lower sanctuary. Its lines and the detailing are simple. Architecturally it is of limited interest although the internal arrangement where an aisle arcade is expected and yet is not there (rather there is a huge lintel running from one end of the church to the other) is a feature of some curiosity.

The church was built in 1957-8 to meet the needs of Catholics on the newly-built Thorntree council estate. Foundation stone dated 4 June 1957. 

It consists of a wide nave and lower sanctuary and is faced with thin, light brown bricks laid in stretcher bond with recessed pointing. The dressings are of artificial stone. The fenestration of the nave consists of ten windows on either side, grouped in pairs and with shallow triangular heads: there is also a single window in the west bay (occupied by the gallery internally). There are similar windows in the sanctuary side walls but the east wall is blind. The west façade to the road has a superarch embracing a tall three-light window and a square-headed doorway.

Internally the walls are also of bare brick. There is no chancel arch but the width of the sanctuary is reduced by the width of the side chapels. The most striking feature of the interior is the treatment of the covering of the nave. There is a huge lintel running the length of the church on either side in the positions where one might expect conventional arcades. This creates a somewhat unusual, if slightly disconcerting effect. The main, five-sided ceiling is covered with insulating tiles. There is a west gallery which houses the organ.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed