Building » West Malling – St Thomas More

West Malling – St Thomas More

More Park, Lucks Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19

A characteristic but architecturally unexceptional 1970s church, set within the former grounds of a listed 19th-century house and located within the West Malling Conservation Area.

West Malling became a parish in 1960 and a house in East Malling was purchased for the priest. There was a small church in Frog Lane, West Malling and a Mass centre at Snodland.  In  1964  a  19th-century  house  (The  Hermitage)  was  purchased  with attached  land  now  known  as  More  Park.  The Hermitage  was  divided  to  provide accommodation for the priest and the Auxiliary Bishop and the land at East Malling was sold. The church was built next to The Hermitage in 1972-73. 

The church is of a fairly characteristic 1970s design with a pitched roof interrupted by a clerestory (so that the two pitches do not meet) throwing light onto the sanctuary. It is of brick with Redland Stonewold tiles on the roof. The entrance wall is faced with reconstituted stone and there is a flat canopy over the entrance area. Apart from the clerestory the windows are narrow slots with concrete lintels. The sacristy is accommodated in a lean-to behind the sanctuary. The main doors lead into a narthex with lavatories and repository to either side. Inside the main worship area, the clerestory bathes the sanctuary in light, leaving the rest of the church a little gloomy. The side walls are of brick but the sanctuary wall is plastered and painted, with three marble lintels to doors into the sacristy and over an altar recess, which also has a marble reredos behind the tabernacle. The furnishings are mostly of the time of the church and do not require detailed comment. The openwork metal Stations of the Cross and crucifix were made at the Benedictine Community at the Priory of Our Lady Queen of Peace, London N14.

Heritage Details

Architect: B. D. Kaye

Original Date: 1972

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed