Building » Worcester Park – St Matthias

Worcester Park – St Matthias

Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park, Surrey KT4

A building of the mid-1960s which combines an Italianate brick exterior with a more contemporary interior.   The building retains most of its original fittings.

A small permanent chapel was built in 1906 in Brinkley Road, Worcester Park, with financial assistance from Miss Frances Ellis.  The building was designed by Benedict Williamson, an architect who started studying for the Catholic priesthood that same year.  In the 1930s the size of the congregation was swelled by Irish workers building the Underground Railway extension and the chapel was enlarged by the addition of an aisle. A site for a future church was purchased in Cheam Common Road and a hall and presbytery were built on the site in 1937.  In 1961 the parish of North Cheam was created out of the former parish of Worcester Park and in 1962 work began on a new church for Worcester Park.  The building, which cost nearly £60,000, was officially opened in 1966.  A new parish hall adjoining the north side of the church was built in 2006; the architect was Graham Bedford.

The church is built in a modern Italianate style.  The plan comprises an aisleless nave with northwest campanile, north and south transepts and sanctuary. Nave, transepts and sanctuary are all the same height with pitched roofs. The walls are faced with red brick laid in Flemish bond, the roof coverings are Roman tiles.  The west end facing the road has a central entrance with a large round-headed window set in a tall round- headed brick arch which rises into the shallow gable. The campanile is set back from the front on the north side and is windowless, apart from the stone belfry stage, which has three round-headed openings in each face and a tiled pyramidal roof.  The side walls of the nave are divided into bays by brick pilaster strips with groups of three round-headed lights with metal-framed windows at the head of most bays. These clerestory windows are continued on the transepts and sanctuary side walls but both transepts have a single tall round-headed window in the end wall and the east wall of the sanctuary is blind.  The modern hall is built hard against the north wall of the nave.

The interior is more modern in feeling than the exterior.  The walls are bare-faced red brick, the floor is parquet. The ceiling is segmental in shape and lined with acoustic tiles. The clerestorey windows are clear glazed. The nave has a west gallery with a glazed lobby beneath. The openings to both transepts are supported on horizontal beams and the inner eastern corners of the transepts rest on piloti, which allow the flat-roofed eastern transept chapels to open into the sanctuary. There is no structural division between nave and sanctuary and the east end wall is emphasised by a central vertical panel of render behind the altar.

The fittings appear to be mostly original and of the 1960s.   They include the nave benches, the simple modern sanctuary fittings and the stained glass in the east and west windows and the transept end windows.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1964

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed