Wingfield Avenue, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S81
A striking hexagonal design of the Post-Vatican II period, its tall needle spire acting as a local landmark. The little-altered interior is a warm and welcoming space with furnishings of note by Eric Carr.
Catholicism was revived at an early date in Worksop. Mass was celebrated in the area as early as 1702; the Dukes of Norfolk had a domestic chaplain at Worksop Manor. By the 1830s the manor and chapel were sold by the twelfth Duke, who in their stead built St Mary’s church (qv) in 1840.
By the 1950s new housing developments on the northern edge of Worksop meant there was a need for another parish and church. It was not until 1967, when the local authority initiated proposals for a new housing estate on Prospect Hill, that agreement was made with the Diocese of Nottingham to sell land at Woodland Drive for a permanent church, presbytery and hall. A parishioner, Miss Gertrude Suffolk paid for the new church as a family memorial. It was designed by Cyril Horsley of Sandy & Norris & Partners, to accommodate 425 people. The contractor was Hubert Bell of the North East Building Group, and the final cost was £49,500. The first Mass was celebrated on 19 November 1970 and the church was consecrated on 1 May 1971. The parish was erected in 1972, and a parish hall built in 1977-8 (architects: the successor practice of Horsley, Currall & Associates). Since 2007 St Joseph’s has been merged with St Mary’s.
The church was built from designs by Cyril Horsley of Sandy & Norris & Partners and opened in 1970. It is of hexagonal form, faced with dark textured brickwork laid in stretcher bond, with a concrete perimeter ring beam at eaves level and shallow pyramidal roof rising to a central lantern and fibreglass fleche. The external walls are generally blind, except for single vertical window openings at the corners of each face. To the north is a link to the presbytery. The northwest elevation contains the principal entrance, via the narthex.
Inside, spaces giving off the central hexagon include the narthex with WCs, sanctuary, baptistery, Lady Chapel, confessionals and cry room. The interior is simply fitted out, with exposed brick walls and a pine boarded ceiling which radiates from the centre, following the form of the steel roof structure. Natural light is provided by perimeter clerestory windows and the central lantern. The sanctuary is raised by one step and the altar on a further step. The east wall is of exposed brick with a central recess containing a crucifix, and tabernacle stand below with a small timber canopy. To the south of the sanctuary is the baptistery with stone font, the organ by J. W. Walker & Sons (1970) and to the north is the Lady Chapel. The congregational seating is of polished hardwood, angled around the sanctuary on three sides. Furnishings of note include the timber crucifix and Stations of the Cross by Eric Carr of Liverpool.
Architect: Sandy & Norris & Partners
Original Date: 1970
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed