Christ the King (R.C.)

FILWOOD (Knowle West)



Built 1951-52, a rather successful design echoing the Gothic past, yet of modern materials. It has as a neighbour the rather startling Filwood Baths, built by the City of Bristol, and looking almost like a church itself! The orientation of the church is reversed in actuality. Large eleven stepped light west window over cinema-like entrance foyer. The tower stands at the south-west corner, square below with a lantern top stage having five stepped gabled lights per face. The interesting roof appears like it is folded and carries a traditional weathercock.

The baptistry in the Presbytery Garden and figure of

Christ the King


To the north is the presbytery, which adjoins the church. Into the garden projects the baptistry with a rounded wall of full-height glazed lights. Fixed on the west wall is the figure of Christ the King, which may be the work of Ernest Pascoe.

The interior has more elements of Gothic origins. Nave, aisles, clerestory and apsidal east end. The arches have piers which taper, thinner at the floor, and triangular arches. Blank "triforium" space and clerestory of two small lights, three in the apse. The chancel arch is demarcated by a lower transverse arch with pierced lights above..


The "bay" construction is clearly visible, aisle with side windows of four stepped lights, blank triforium and clerstory. The nave is divided into bays by transverse arches, again tapering towards the base. West gallery over the entrance vestibule.


The most successful part for me is the beautiful baptistry. The font on its columns is simple yet implies strength, and it is set in a floor with circular crown-like dark marble lozenges. The font cover too is highly unusual. The houseplants too add a nice touch - how rarely we seen plants inside a church!

Page created 27th January 2001

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