Victoria Drive, Wimbledon, London SW19
A large, modern church of hexagonal plan. The building and its furnishings are typical of their time.
In 1962 a large inter-war house at 11 Victoria Drive was converted by Messrs Tomei & Maxwell to serve both as church and a presbytery. This soon became too small but a 1965 plan for a Greek cross plan church remained unexecuted. Tomei & Mackley built the primary school in 1967-68. In June 1970 the first church was demolished and replaced by the current building. The architects were Tomei, Mackley & Pound and the value of the contract was £71,300. The church was opened by Archbishop Cowderoy on 8 December 1971 and was consecrated on 3 October 1986. There are currently plans to replace the current presbytery at 15 Victoria Drive with a new house and a parish hall.
The church was built in 1970-71 to designs by Tomei, Mackley & Pound. The lower part of the building is faced in load-bearing bricks laid in Flemish bond, with the upper part of reinforced concrete, with a steel frame roof. The plan is of a square auditorium, with surrounding ancillary spaces, resulting in an overall hexagonal plan with a canted east end. The narthex windows consist of a series of lights in a concrete frame, while the side windows further east are individual lights separated by piers of black brick. The nave roof is crowned by a glazed lantern which provides natural lighting. Apart from the large west entrance, there are several side entrances. The pavement in front of the west entrance has a stone commemorating the church’s opening in 1971.
The narthex at the west end includes toilet facilities as well as two sacristies/parish rooms which can be used independently from the auditorium. Both the northwest and southwest sides have small clerestory windows with coloured glass. All four outer walls have abstract coloured glass, of which one pane at the southwest is signed ‘Glass work 1986’. At the northwest is a statue of St Patrick. Inside the inner square, statues of St John Fisher and St Thomas More have been placed in the north and south corners. There is a statue of St Theresa just to the east of the north corner. The Stations are ceramic panels.
The sanctuary is in the east corner of the central square. A crucifix hangs between two small stained glass windows by Whitefriars Studios, depicting symbols of the church’s patron saints, St Peter and the Virgin Mary. Below is a statue of St Peter, with another of the Our Lady Queen of Heaven with the Christ Child just to the south. The altar is of stone, the ambo of timber. The pipe organ is on the loft just to the north of the sanctuary.
The southeast chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart and has a simple stone altar, a statue and three abstract stained glass windows (possibly also by Whitefriars Studios). To the south is a row of confessionals, with six small coloured glass windows above. The octagonal stone font is located within the central auditorium, near the south corner. Near the south corner is a modern statue of St Anthony. A niche at the southwest has a statue of St Joseph.
Original Date: 1970
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed