Building » West Denton – St John Vianney

West Denton – St John Vianney

Hillhead Parkway, West Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5

A simple modern design of the 1980s, built upon and incorporating features from the predecessor church. 

The Chapel House estate was developed in the 1960s by the builder J. T. Bell. The first church on this site, by Pascal J. Stienlet & Son, had a concrete frame with brick panels and some light green slate cladding and cedar boarding. Inside, it had timber panelling and acoustic cladding, and some interesting features, especially the high, spacious sanctuary, and the slightly sunken font with wave-decorated bowl behind a glass screen. This was opened in 1964. It was demolished, mainly because of concrete failure, and the present church built in 1984-85 on the old foundations. The contractor was Galp Construction of Seaham (designer George Pepper MIOB). The cost was £162,000. The new church was opened and consecrated by Bishop Lindsay on 24 May 1985.

The church is orientated north-south on the short axis of the original east-west nave, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

 

The church is built of dark red brick, with synthetic roof slates. Ritual east is at south, and the long axis is actual east-west. Gabled projections on the south, west and north sides mark the positions of the sanctuary, the organ, and the porch; they have central full-height recesses. The meeting room is at the east, on the site of the previous sanctuary. Groups of long narrow windows produce varied light.

 

The interior has plastered walls and a boarded ceiling flat under the collar, and with exposed rafters at the sides. It contains a number of furnishings from the original church, including the wooden benches, carved Stations of the Cross and two stained glass windows behind the altar (depicting St Cuthbert and St Elizabeth, from the old west window). The sanctuary furnishings were made for the new church; the altar, ambo, tabernacle stand, and font are of Botticino marble, designed by Burke and Tindall and made by Morris Marbleworks (of Dunston). The president’s chair was made by a parishioner, Alan Minnekin. The organ is by Johannus Versteegt. Plain panels of coloured glass from the 1964 west window form a sliding screen between church and meeting room. The screen allows the meeting room to extend the church space.

Heritage Details

Architect: Galp Construction Ltd (George Pepper)

Original Date: 1985

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed