Basil Spence Church Tours
1pm - 2pm, 7th December 2016
Wordsworth Avenue, Wordsworth Ave, Sheffield S5 9JH
Tour led by - Basil Spence Church
In December we held a popular double tour of two of Sir Basil Spence's churches in Sheffield - the Grade II listed St. Catherine of Siena in Intake, and Grade II listed St. Paul's Church in Parson's Cross.
The tour was conducted by Russell Light of Sheffield School of Architecture who provided some interesting facts about both the heritage churches.
Starting at St.Catherine of Siena, the tour was accompanied by Father Philip Knowles who introduced us to the 1959 Church. The vertical timber and slit windows guides us through the nave pointing towards the semi-circular sanctuary that is highlighted by the clerestorey shining down on the altar. We learnt that the altar originally sat back however this was pulled forward now standing at the edge of the semi-circle. In the main hall is a picture depicting the original design for the Church, although this space has been reduced since it was first built.
The second destination, St. Paul's Church, was accompanied by John Roch, who has been part of the Church since it opened and provided a thorough insight into the history of the building and gave us a 'Notes on the building and furnishings' mini brochure. Built in 1959, this Church is a lot more compact, with the entrance space opening directly onto the nave with open stairs leading up to a mezzanine holding the organ, although the mezzanine had to have extra supports later on due to the weight of the organ. A diaframe bracing of the roof was desined by Ove Arup covering the space and providing a clear view of the staggered brick wall. The detached bell tower standing in the Churches evident of Basil Spence's input.