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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Our Lady Help of Christians

Our Lady Help of Christians is a Grade II* listed catholic church in Tile Cross, Birmingham. Built in 1966–67 and designed by Richard Gilbert Scott of Giles Scott, Son and Partner.

The church was designed by Richard Gilbert Scott, son of renowned architect Giles Gilbert Scott. It has a subtly polygonal T-shaped plan which allows a forward altar surrounded by the congregation. Above the altar the roof is partly formed by extraordinary curved serrated ribbed trusses of reinforced concrete, faced externally with copper cladding. Inside the stained glass is by John Chrestien.

The church demonstrates many of the ideas enshrined in De Sacra Liturgia of 1963 and the Catholic Church's pronouncements on forward altars and centralised planning made in 1964, but it is no mere auditorium of worship; every element is carefully conceived, demonstrating and integration of architecture, engineering and stained glass art.

The building featured in the book, 100 Buildings, 100 Years, published by the Twentieth Century Society in 2014.

"Gavin Stamp stated that the building is very hard to categorise – but what is definitely true is that it is a perfect blend of art, design, architecture, engineering and probably one of the most exciting pieces of 20th century British church architecture I’ve had the pleasure to look at. "

The church was recognised as being something very special as early as 1999 when it was first listed and upgraded to II* in 2016.

John Chrestien

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John Durham
John Durham
Aug 30, 2022

Incredibly interesting - I had to look up Grade II* as I didn't know that would be different from a garden variety Grade II. And the name is also quite unique. Wonderful perspectives on all the curves and stained glass.

Gethin Thomas
Gethin Thomas
Aug 31, 2022
Replying to

Yes, better than "special" but not as good as "Exceptional".🙂

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