Roman Catholic Church of St Richard

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1392318
Date first listed:
13-Nov-2007
Statutory Address:
Roman Catholic Church of St Richard, Cawley Road

Map

Ordnance survey map of Roman Catholic Church of St Richard
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Location

Statutory Address:
Roman Catholic Church of St Richard, Cawley Road

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
West Sussex
District:
Chichester (District Authority)
Parish:
Chichester
National Grid Reference:
SU 86220 04416

Reasons for Designation

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION The Church of St Richard is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * The stained glass, which forms the most notable feature of the church, is the largest scheme undertaken in this country by the artist Gabriel Loire, a major figure in stained glass of the post war period. It forms a complete figurative narrative, an unusual use of the technique of 'dalle de verre', which was usually confined to mosaic design. * The paintings by David O'Connell are of interest, and other interior fittings are generally executed in good-quality materials. * The architecture of the church, whilst not of intrinsic special interest, forms an ideal, simple foil for the intricate stained glass.

Details

593/0/10048 CHICHESTER CAWLEY ROAD Roman Catholic Church of St Richard 13-NOV-07

II Roman Catholic Church built in 1958 to the design of Tomei and Maxwell of London; builder Messrs A Booker and Son of Walberton; stained glass by Gabriel Loire and paintings by David O'Connell. The church is of concrete portal frame construction, and red and grey brick, with a shallow-pitched corrugated roof. The plan is T-shaped comprising a four-bay nave and north and south transepts of three bays each; the latter comprises a chapel and baptistery at the south end. Linked campanile to north west.

EXTERIOR: The main, west, entrance with canopied porch is linked by a flat roof to the campanile to the south, which has an openwork cap, clock and prominent cross. Above the main door is an almost life-size depiction of the Crucifixion, which is set against the large stained glass window in the west of Our Blessed Lady, flanked by cement blocks in alternate plain and diamond-pointed squares in a chequerboard design. The building is divided into bays by cement pilasters socketed into a moulded plastic eaves cornice, below which, on the nave and the west sides of the north and south transepts, is a continuous frieze of stained glass windows. At the gable end of both the north and south transepts are large stained glass windows. That on the north illustrates the life of St Richard of Chichester, and at the gable end of the south transept, a window, divided by the floor of the gallery inside, depicts symbols of Baptism. At the east, the presbytery abuts the church. This is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: The roof is supported by exposed concrete portal frames in the form of Tudor arches which divide the interior into bays, spanning the crossing diagonally. The main body of the church has parquet flooring. The benches are Sepele mahogany, matching the flooring of the sanctuary. The sanctuary lies on the east wall, and the altar stands at the meeting point of the nave and the north and south transepts, all of which are broad to accommodate the modern liturgy. The altar, of Tinos green marble, stands on a step and curb of Belgian black fossil marble. The altar piece is a painting of the crucified Christ by David O'Connell, who was also responsible for the Stations of the Cross on the walls of the nave and transepts. The ceiling above has gold-leaf tracery. Behind the altar is the vestry. At the end of the S transept is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (formerly dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham), which incorporates the Baptistery, also designed by David O'Connell, and above which is a gallery. The baptistery is equally rich with its walls of polished marble and floor of Italian slate. The font is of white Portland stone and around its base is a design in Westmorland slate, gold glass mosaic and white Sicilian marble.

The interior however is dominated by its stained glass of 'dalle de verre' construction - glass pieces set into a concrete and resin framework - which throws light from every angle into the church. The stained glass is a major work of narrative design by the internationally-renowned French stained glass designer Gabriel Loire (1904-96). The window over the west door shows Our Blessed Lady, Mary the Mother of Christ, in heaven surrounded by angels. There is a clerestorey around the nave and transepts, with four lights to each bay. Those to the nave south wall depict the Biblical story of the world's preparation for the coming of Christ; those to the north the time between that of Christ and the present day; those to the north transept depict the present-day church and those to the south transept the laity. The main north transept window depicts the life of St Richard Bishop of Chichester from 1244 to 1253. In the baptistery is a large window with symbols of Baptism and new life.

HISTORY: The parish of Chichester's first Roman Catholic Church was built in 1855. Prior to this, mass was celebrated in a room of the Bedford Hotel in Southgate. This first church was a small Victorian Gothic building which stood at the junction of Market Avenue and Southgate, built with funds from private donation on land given by Anne, Countess of Newburgh who was a member of the fervently Catholic Ratcliffe family. The present church, also funded by parishioners, was built on a new site, near to the old one, at the junction of Market Avenue and Cawley Road in 1958 by Messrs A Booker and Son of Walberton to a design by Tomei and Maxwell of London. The Stations of the Cross, the altarpiece painting behind the sanctuary and the paintings on either side of the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrement Chapel, are the work of David O'Connell.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The Church of St Richard is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * The stained glass, which forms the most notable feature of the church, is the largest scheme undertaken in this country by Gabriel Loire, a major figure in post-war stained-glass design. It forms a complete figurative narrative, an unusual use of the technique of dalle de verre, which was usually employed in abstract designs. * The architecture of the church, while not of intrinsic special interest, forms an ideal, simple foil for the intricate stained glass. * The paintings by David O'Connell are of interest, and other interior fittings are generally executed in good-quality materials.

SOURCES: Joanna Smith and Derek Kendall, RCHME report St Aidan's Church Ealing London NBR Index No; 97000 (1998) Nick Antram, Historic Review of the Roman Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton (2005), St Richard of Chichester. 'Parish of St. Richard of Chichester', guide to the church, July 2006

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
503023
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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