Violet Lane, Waddon, Croydon, Surrey CR04
A functional design of the early 1960s, conventional for its date both in plan and design. However, the building is included in Croydon Council’s local list. The statue of St Dominic outside the church, by Michael Clark, is a fine piece.
Waddon was one of several daughter churches of St Gertrude, South Croydon (qv) established in the expansionist post-war period. At first (before the war) a weekly Mass was established in Duppas School, opposite the present church. In 1948 a Nissen hut-type structure was built on the site of the present church at a cost of £1,000, dedicated to St Dominic. In 1951 this had to be extended to accommodate a growing congregation. In 1959 a priest’s house was built and Waddon became a separate parish, with Fr Hubert Simes its first resident priest. The present church was built in 1960-61, from designs by Tomei & Maxwell (Lawrence Tomei was a Croydon Catholic). It was built to accommodate 360 people and was built at a cost of £21,215. A life-size stone statue of St Dominic was placed outside the church, by Michael Clark RSBS.
The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.
The church is of conventional Latin cross plan, consisting of a nave and square ended chancel under a continuous ridge, with projecting north and south transepts. A flat-roofed entrance porch adjoins the west side of the south transept and a Lady Chapel gives off the east side (south side of chancel), also flat-roofed. An attached parish hall lies to the west end of the church.
The building is in a functional modern style, generally astylar but with some Gothic touches, notably the tall pointed windows on the north elevation of the transept (the principal elevation) and on the west front, and the slender copper fleche on the main ridge, lining up with the ridge of the transept. The structure is of loadbearing brick laid in Flemish bond, with a steeply pitched clay tile roof. The gable of the south transept has creased tiles at the verges. The windows are metal framed.
The western entrance from the parish hall leads into a narthex under an organ gallery. The nave is wide and aisleless, lit by tall vertical windows on either side. These have clear glass, but the large windows at the west end and in the south transept have coloured panels. There is also some modern figurative glass in the Lady Chapel (by Christian Ryan of Bridgend, 2005). The nave and chancel have an open roof structure of laminated redwood trusses and purlins. The walls are plastered and painted white. The north transept accommodates the sacristy, with a choir gallery over (with folding panels to allow the space to double up as a meeting room). The south transept is part of the main worship space. The sanctuary is enclosed by the original timber communion rails, but the sanctuary fittings are not original. The most notable internal furnishing is the font, a large, vesica-shaped piece in grey Belgian marble with a brass cover, supplied by Merbes-primont Ltd (CBR 1962, 116). Outside the church facing the car park is a stone statue of St Dominic by Michael Clark.
Architect: Tomei & Maxwell
Original Date: 1961
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed