Wythenshawe Road, Northern Moor, Wythenshawe, Manchester, M23
A striking, unusual design combining blunt Art Deco forms with Romanesque details. The interior has high quality furnishings and good, simple architectural forms now compromised by subdivision.
Wythenshawe was originally part of Cheshire, acquired by Manchester City Council for a satellite suburb and laid out by Barry Parker from 1931. Building continued until 1939 and resumed after the Second World War. The parish was one of two new parishes formed in Wythenshawe in 1946; initially the school was used for worship. Land for the church was purchased in 1950 and building work started in 1953. The completed church, designed by Reynolds & Scott, opened in 1955.
In 2006 the parishes of St Hilda, Northenden and St Aidan were merged, with St Aidan’s becoming a Mass centre. The presbytery was disposed of and the church subdivided, with the western half converted to social and community use.
The church is a striking building of buff brick with a pylon-like west end, a saddleback roofed crossing tower and semicircular apse. It is an example of the fertile imagination of the Reynolds & Scott partnership seen in their other churches in the diocese and more widely. Windows are generally lancets, and there is a round-arched west door with a mosaic above it. The western half of the church has been divided off and this part of the building was not inspected, but has been internally altered. The part east of and including the crossing is composed of simple unmoulded arched forms with a top-lit ambulatory which is open to the sanctuary, where there is an interrupted arcade with Romanesque columns of polished stone with cushion capitals. There is a north chapel with a statue by Stuflesser. The sanctuary is paved in green marble and white Travertine marble, with furnishings of different marbles including a forward altar and Blessed Sacrament altar beneath a painted and gilded corona.
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1955
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed