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Diocese takes stock of its rich architectural heritage

A comprehensive architectural and historical review of Catholic churches across the Diocese has been published online as part of the major Taking Stock project.

Taking stock is an architectural and historical review of Catholic churches and chapels in England and Wales. The project is a partnership between the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, individual dioceses, and Historic England.

They range from the spectacular architectural glories of churches like St Benet’s Minster in Beccles and Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge to the Diocese’s many humbler yet much-loved church buildings.

Cedric Burton, Secretary of the Historic Churches Committee, said:

“This audit of the Catholic churches and chapels in the Diocese is an important tool. It will help to enable to proper preservation, and appropriate development, of the Church’s patrimony. In particular it will provide the committee, and the new Historic Churches Support Officer, with a base line from which to assess the needs and proposals of parishes.”

The review was carried out by Andrew Derrick, Director of the Architectural History Practice.

“We are all familiar with the great legacy of medieval church buildings in East Anglia,” he said, “but not so well known is the modern heritage of Catholic churches. By modern I mean those built after 1791, when Catholic church building once again became legal in England.

“There are 25 listed churches in the diocese, including a couple of medieval outliers (the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham and the church at Clare Priory). The most recent is Eric Gill’s 1939 church at Gorleston. Many other churches, while not listed, are of local value and, of course, important to those who worship there. Taking Stock has assessed the architecture and history of all of them and aims to ensure that heritage considerations are given their proper weight when changes are proposed.”

The listings for the Diocese can be found at this on this link:


Pictured above and below is Our Lady and the English Martyrs in Cambridge. Images: Alex Ramsay / Architectural History Practice