Wellington Road Eccles M30 9AL
Architect: TD Howcroft 1969
Once upon a time there was a Gothic church.
The Cornerstone of the building was laid in front of a crowd of 2,000 on Good Friday 1859 and the church was opened for public worship on Good Friday 6th April 1860. In the press of the day, the church was described as – a Cathedral looking church.
In 1965 it was announced that a new Eccles motorway would be built through the church land.
Work began to demolish the Church and replace it with a new smaller church, but the old church did not go down without a fight as workers could not pull down the steeple. After eleven days of battering and buffeting by eighteen pounds of gelignite and two eight ton bulldozers, the steeple finally surrendered.
Then there wasn’t – then there was this:
On Friday 11th July 1969, the new church officially opened with a splendid ceremony. A minor hitch occurred when the organ blew a fuse during the second verse but the Congregation sang through it while organist Mr Kenyon frantically fumbled about and rectified the matter.
TD Howcroft was also responsible for St Wilfrid’s in Pevensey Bay – I happened to cycle by in 2015.
My thanks to Mr Tony Flynn – the acting Lord Mayor of Eccles, for arranging our visit through church member Mr George Cross.
To the rear the exterior is, as Mr Pevsner would say – unprepossessing.
The elevation facing the main road more than somewhat less unprepossessing.
A curved apse along with a raised and canted roof – a window up above illuminating the altar.
The main body of the church is bold and voluminous – strong verticals to the rear and right.
The pews, organ pipes and other furnishings appear to be of a piece.
There is a dynamic timber roof with supporting beams.
Relocated War Memorials.