Church of the Epiphany

1936-8 by N. F. Cachemaille-Day. Pevsner considered it "a building of remarkable originality, and exceptionally happy blend of the 20th century idiom with just sufficient GothicGlossary Term allusion to make it acceptable to the Church of England worshipper" and one that "amply deserves the prize amongst the 20th century churches of Leeds". Cachemaille-Day initially proposed a simple rectangular church with a chapel behind the high altar, hidden by a reredosGlossary Term or riddels, but this was changed to the present more dramatic arrangement on two levels before construction began. ReinforcedGlossary Term concreteGlossary Term frame with brick infillGlossary Term. Heavy parapets and continuous stringGlossary Term courses are remarkably successful in balancing the strong vertical emphasis of the fortress-like E end, a mass of sweeping curves broken by tall windows. It is stepped up like that of a French RomanesqueGlossary Term church: low semicircle of the Lady ChapelGlossary Term, higher semicircle of the ambulatoryGlossary Term, yet higher pitched roof. An intended 100ft bell tower over the SW porch was not built and a flèche surmounted by an illuminated star was substituted. This was removed in 1976.

The interior, now painted white, has sixty feet high circular concreteGlossary Term piers supporting flat ceilings. The tall thin piers and the stripped surfaces allude both to GothicGlossary Term and stripped classicalGlossary Term forms of the mid 20th century. The aisleGlossary Term ceilings are set a little lower than those of the naveGlossary Term. Transepts two bays deep. The chancelGlossary Term is barely distinguishable from the naveGlossary Term with an apseGlossary Term of the same height and an ambulatoryGlossary Term around. The sanctuaryGlossary Term is slightly raised on a circular plinthGlossary Term with simple curved altar rails and seats built in, anticipating the late 20th century vogue for naveGlossary Term altars. Service rooms curve outside the sides of the ambulatoryGlossary Term and are separated from it by more equally tall circular piers and half-high screen-wallsGlossary Term. The E or Lady CHAPELGlossary Term is dramatically raised above sixteen steps behind the altar with access from the ambulatoryGlossary Term and thus visible from the naveGlossary Term, an arrangement developed from that at St Nicholas, Burnage, Manchester. The windows are very slim, narrow and straight-headed, and they are very closeGlossary Term to each other all along the sides and end. The choirGlossary Term galleries are most unusually behind the altar, facing the naveGlossary Term on the same level as the Lady ChapelGlossary Term. Expressive and jazzy STAINED GLASS in the Lady ChapelGlossary Term by Christopher Webb depicting the Epiphany stars with blue as the dominant colour.



Subsidiary space alongside the body of a building, separated from it by columns, piers or posts. Also (especially Scots) projecting wing of a church, often for special use, e.g. by a guild or by a landed family whose burial place it may contain.


(lit. walkway): Aisle around the sanctuary of a church.


Semicircular or polygonal end of an apartment, especially of a chancel or chapel. In classical architecture sometimes called an exedra.


The eastern part or end of a church, where the altar is placed; usually set apart for the clergy.


The part of a cathedral, monastic church or collegiate church where services are sung.


A term used for the architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, revived at the Renaissance and subsequently imitated around the Western world. It uses a range of conventional forms, the roots of which are the orders, or types of column each with its fixed proportions and ornaments (especially Doric, Ionic and Corinthian). Classical buildings tend also to be symmetrical, both externally and on plan. Classical architecture in England began c. 1530 with applied ornamental motifs, followed within a few decades by fully-fledged new buildings.


The precinct of a cathedral. Also (Scots) a courtyard or passage giving access to a number of buildings.


Composition of cement (calcined lime and clay), aggregate (small stones and rock chippings), sand and water. It can be poured into formwork or shuttering (temporary framing of timber or metal) on site (in-situ concrete) or pre-cast as components before construction. Reinforced: incorporating steel rods to take the tensile force. Pre-stressed: with tensioned steel rods. Finishes include the impression of boards left by formwork (board-marked or shuttered), and texturing with steel brushes (brushed or bush-hammered), picks or hammers (pick-hammered or hammer-dressed).


The style of the Middle Ages from the later 12th century to the Renaissance, with which it co-existed in certain forms into the 17th century. Characterized in its full development by the pointed arch, the rib-vault and an often skeletal masonry structure for churches, combined with large glazed windows. The term was originally associated with the concept of the barbarian Goths as assailants of classical civilization.


In timber-framed construction, the non-structural material that fills the compartments, e.g. wattle and daub, lath and plaster, brickwork (known as nogging), etc.

Lady chapel

A chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady).


The body of a church west of the crossing or chancel, often flanked by aisles.


Projecting courses at the foot of a wall or column, generally cut back (chamfered) or moulded at the top.


Of concrete: incorporating steel rods to take the tensile force.


Painted and/or sculpted screen behind and above an altar.


The dominant style of Western Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is associated especially with the expansion of monasticism and the building of large stone churches, and is characterized by massive masonry, round-headed arches and vaulting inspired by ancient Roman precedent, and by the use of stylized ornament. In England it is commonly known as Norman.


Used for the area around the main altar of a church.


In a medieval church, usually set at the entry to the chancel. A parclose screen separates a chapel from the rest of the church. A rood screen was placed below a representation of the Crucifixion (called a rood).


A sloping member holding the ends of the treads and risers of a staircase. A closed string has a continuous upper edge and covers the ends of the treads and risers. An open string is cut into the shape of the treads and risers.