Albert Road, Whitefield, Manchester M45
A modern (2000) functional design, housing a church and parish hall under one roof.
In the 1950s Whitefield Urban District Council agreed that the Hillock District should be used as an overspill estate for 8000 Manchester people. Hillock was then only a tiny linear hamlet straddling Hillock Lane, now part of Oak Lane. In 1965-6 the meadowland area between Oak Lane and Moss Lane was developed with council housing for families from older areas of Manchester such as Ancoats, Beswick, Cheetham Hill, Collyhurst and Miles Platting, which were undergoing comprehensive redevelopment. This became known as the Hillock Estate.
St Bernadette’s parish (qv) had been erected in 1952 but the rapid growth in Whitefield’s population in the 1960s and a growing Catholic community on the Hillock estate necessitated a further church. Mass was said initially in a workmen’s hut which moved as the building work on the estate progressed. When St Michael’s infants’ and junior schools were completed in 1968, Mass was celebrated in the infants’ school. Eventually, in 1969 a timber church hall seating about 250 was built from designs by L.L. Bellotti, architects. By the 1990s this building had become inadequate and in 1994 it was agreed that a new parish centre with a church and hall could be built. Three designs were submitted and those of Greenhalgh & Williams were eventually chosen. The building opened for worship in 2000. In 2009 the parish was re-combined with that of St Bernadette Whitefield.
The building is rectangular on plan with a wide shallow-pitched roof. It has a concrete frame with external wall facings which are a mixture of red brick and red blockwork, with modern rectangular window openings; the roof is covered with grey concrete tiles. Inside the church space the small sanctuary is set in the middle of one of the longer sides with the seating arranged to face it. Some of the sanctuary fittings were brought from the previous church.
Architect: Greenhalgh & Williams of Bolton
Original Date: 2000
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed