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.


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