Building » White City – Our Lady of Fatima

White City – Our Lady of Fatima

Commonwealth Avenue, London W12

An early-mid 1960s church at the heart of a post-war social housing development. Designed in a stripped round-arched style and still with an aisled, longitudinal plan, it does not have significant architectural interest but, nonetheless, has a light, welcoming interior.

The church hall/temporary church (now the school hall) was designed in August 1949 but in fact the mission was not established until 1951 by Fr Thomas Daniel. The parish was erected in 1955 and designs for a permanent church were prepared by Wilfrid W. Cassidy of New Malden in 1961. Work began on the permanent building in 1964, the foundation stone being laid on 20 February the following year. The completed church was blessed on 15 August 1965. The church was reordered about 1980.

The church is built of brown stock brick with Portland stone dressings and is oriented towards the west. It is designed in a very simplified Romanesque style and is a late example of traditional longitudinal planning before the full impact of the changes emanating from Vatican II were felt. It consists of a nave and sanctuary in one (apart from a shallow projection for the east end) with passage aisles, sacristies linking the church to the presbytery, and has a plain, short, loosely Italianate tower with a shallow pyramid roof left of the entrance fa├žade. At their (liturgical) east ends the aisles flanking the sanctuary expand for a shrine on either side. The entrance leads into a narthex, above which is a glazed-in meeting room overlooking the nave. The body of the church is roofed in copper and the aisles have flat roofs. All the windows are round-headed, apart from that in the entrance front which is of sub-Venetian form. The nave has a clerestory with broad lights.

The interior is broad and light and has bare brick walls apart from those of the clerestory and the east end of the sanctuary which are plastered. Between the aisles and the main body of the church are six circular concrete piers (painted beige); on these rest flat lintels which carry the clerestory. The roof trusses are of reinforced concrete.

There are no fixtures or fittings needing special mention although the Buildings of England notes that the Stations were painted on wood by John Wood: they are semi-abstract work typical of the 1960s.

Heritage Details

Architect: Wilfrid W. Cassidy

Original Date: 1964

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed