Tollington Park, London N4
A large and imposing classical church, built as the New Court Congregational Church. The pedimented Corinthian portico is a landmark in the local conservation area. The complex includes a former schoolroom (now hall) in the basement, and an ancillary wing (now the presbytery). The original interior is largely preserved, while most of the furnishings are modern.
The mission was founded in 1925 from St Peter-in-Chains, Stroud Green (qv). A temporary chapel was built in Everleigh Street (in 1938 according to Evinson, in 1927 according to the VCH). The parish was established in 1939, initially as a combined parish with St Gabriel, Archway (qv). In 1959, Canon George Groves acquired the present building from the New Court Congregational Church (founded in 1662).
The foundation stone for the church had been laid on 11 November 1870 and the building was opened in the following September. The architect was C. G. Searle, who also was a deacon of the church and lived nearby at Tollington Villas. The church and the basement schoolroom were built at a cost of £10,500, which included £1,500 for the site. In 1884, the upstairs and downstairs lobbies were reconstructed in order to create an additional ninety seats (the then total capacity being 1,340). An attached building (now the presbytery) originally housed vestries, classrooms and a hall for weekday services).
The firm of Gordon Reeves adapted the building for Catholic use. Notably this involved the removal of the original bow-fronted pulpit (formerly in a central position) and the partitioning of part of the ground floor to create counselling rooms and a crying room (now children’s chapel).
The building is comprehensively described in the list entry (below). The following are just a few additional remarks on the furnishings (using conventional liturgical orientation):
The church retains two stained glass windows from its time as the New Court Congregational Church, both in the clerestory: The Good Shepherd of c.1877 as a memorial to Henry Mason (died 1877), a former deacon of the church; and the Virgin Mary (1910, W.G. Langford), which commemorates Richard Creighton (died 1909), a former superintendent of the Sunday School. The three oculi to the west also have nineteenth-century decorative stained glass. There is a modern stained glass window in the north aisle (2010, Stephanie Wright).
Most of the furnishings are modern: The sanctuary timber altar with volute corbels, hanging crucifix above, font and paschal candlestick, as well as the altar and reredos of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and those of the Lady Chapel at the southeast.
The organ is of 1920 by A. Hunter.
The Stations, painted round-arched reliefs, are by Harry Ibbertson
Architect: C. G. Searle
Original Date: 1870
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: II