St Charles’ Presbytery, Chesswood Road, Worthing, West Sussex
One of the many churches designed by H. Bingham Towner in the diocese. Externally a satisfying composition that stands well on its corner site but internally the excessive height in relation to breadth is unsettling. As so often, let down by the use of reconstituted stone which has not improved with age.
The land for the church was acquired in the early 1950s and outline planning permission for a church granted in 1958. The Bishop of Southwark approved Henry Bingham Towner’s plans in 1959 and in May 1962 the first service was held. The total cost of the church was £35,329.
St Charles Borromeo is of compact plan, accentuating the height of the cruciform building. Nave and transepts are of equal length and height. Recessed west porch beneath a round arch. Windows mostly of three arched lights beneath a flat arch. Tall north and south transept windows and tall clerestory windows. Squat central tower with pyramid roof. The effect internally is to create the sense of a centralised space, with four big round arches to the crossing. The nave has a gallery running its full length and the gallery front interrupts the nave arch which is carried on corbels as a result. Curiously this gives the effect that the nave is the least important axis. As with most of Towner’s churches, the building material is reconstituted stone. Towner also designed the presbytery.
*Church now closed*
Architect: Henry Bingham Towner
Original Date: 1962
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed