Marford Road, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire AL4
A modest design and build structure of 1971, not of special architectural or historical interest.
In 1933 a 3.5 acre piece of former farmland on Marford Road was acquired at auction, the intended site for a church for a new Catholic parish. This was let as grazing land while Canon Longstaff of Harpenden established another Mass Centre at Redbourn (St John Fisher). In 1937 a house in Marford Road was leased and a room fitted out as a chapel and a church, said to have been built to Canon Longstaff’s design and dedicated to St Thomas More (who, along with St John Fisher, had been canonised in 1935), was opened by Cardinal Hinsley on 9 February 1938. It had an ornate timber high altar and reredos, brought over from Harpenden. A presbytery was built at the same time.
The present church and presbytery were built in 1971 from designs by Lanner of Wakefield, at a cost of about £50,000.
The entrance porch has recently (2012) been extended to provide an accessible WC, and a covered portico added in front of the porch.
The church is of buff brick construction, with a steeply pitched concrete pantile roof and with a flèche on the ridge. There is a small lean-to porch at the front, extended at the side, and with a covered entrance added in front. In the gable is a large window, rising up to the eaves and incorporating a cross design in red glass. The windows are of UPVC. The rear wall of the sanctuary is buttressed and windowless.
Inside, the church consists of a single volume of aisleless nave and sanctuary. It has an exposed structure of laminated timber trusses, with a plain brick finish to the walls. There are no furnishings of particular note.
Architect: Lanner of Wakefield
Original Date: 1971
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed