Building » West Green – St John Vianney

West Green – St John Vianney

West Green Road, London N15

A functional modern church, typical of its late 1950s date.  Reordering has deprived the interior of some of its better fittings, but enough original furnishings remain to convey the original character.

The parish was established in 1927 and a temporary wooden church was built at 370 West Green Road.  For the first ten years the parish was served by the Canons Regular of the Lateran and the first parish priest was appointed in 1937. The church was enlarged in 1953 and moved slightly to the west in 1958 to make way for the building of the present church. At this point the old church was became the parish hall. The present church and presbytery were built from designs by Archard & Partners. The church was opened in 1959 and consecrated in 1964.  

From 1981-2003 the parish was run by SMA Fathers (Society of African Missions), but it is now back in diocesan hands. The parish hall (original church) burnt down in 1991; it was replaced by a temporary hall but the parish then acquired an adjacent pub for conversion to a parish centre.

 

The church is in the modern style of the 1950s.  Its plan comprises a nave and shallow sanctuary, north and south aisles, northwest tower and sacristies.  The walls are faced with brown Crowborough bricks with window surrounds and some other elements of reconstructed stone.  The shallow-pitched continuous roof over the nave and sanctuary is covered with copper; the aisle roofs are flat. The windowless west front of the nave is faced with reconstituted stone with a ground floor entrance loggia on piloti and a crucifix above. The northwest tower has west and east faces of sheer brickwork , the lower part of the north side is faced with reconstituted stone, the upper part of the tower is a belfry open on the north and south sides with a flat roof topped by a wooden cross.  The north elevation is of five bays east of the tower, with rectangular aisle windows above a continuous projection housing the confessionals and triple square windows in each bay of the clerestory. Attached to the eastern bay is a large single-storey flat roof sacristy. The south elevation is similar.

 

Internally the nave and aisles are uncluttered by arcades or vertical supports. The concrete trusses of the nave roof are carried on two reinforced concrete beams running the length of the church and supported at either end on steel columns. At the west end of the nave is an organ gallery over the vestibule, with a stair in the lower part of the tower. The sanctuary occupies the east bay of the nave and has tall side windows and a blind east wall with a large crucifix. Originally the crucifix was framed by a tall baldacchino on black marble columns over a high altar of Portland stone but this has been removed as part of a later reordering.  All the original fittings, including the nave seating of Sapele mahogany was designed by Messrs. Archard, the original architects.  The aisle windows on both sides contain modern stained glass, partly figurative and partly abstract in design. The Diocesan Property Services archive contains schemes for a new stone font by Derek Arend Associates submitted in 1985 and this may be the date of the reordering and of some of the other sanctuary fittings.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1959

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed