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St Mary Magdalen with St Francis,


This is the second church to serve the people of Lockleaze. The original church of St Francis stood in Dovercourt Road and was replaced by this building built to the designs of T.H.Burrough in 1956. His design made entire use of prefabricated materials for industrial buildings and with its startling outline was a prominent feature of Gainsborough Square. The church was embellished with a window in the Lady Chapel by Margaret Trahearne depicting the Fifteen Mysteries and a figure of Christ over the entrance by Ernest Pascoe. there was also an engraved window by J.Hutton.

Unfortunately the church developed "concrete cancer" and the cost of restoration proved prohibitively expensive for the congregation. The building became structurally unsafe and was closed. The church had to be demolished and the following two pictures show the church being demolished in 1996.

The parish tried to save its works of art. Unfortunately when attempts were made to remove the statue of Christ it crumbled into powder. The chapel window was an integral part of the building too and would have had to be rebuilt as new - the problems of setting glass in concrete! The cost was much too high. Only the window by Hutton was saved to be used in the future church.

The church site is now occupied by housing, and Gainsborough Square is all the poorer for the loss of such a prominent structure. Yet the church continues on the square.

The picture above shows the parish hall alongside the parish church. The rather grim building now serves as the church for Lockleaze. Looking at it one can hardly imagine a less inspiring building for a church. The next page will show you the transformation of this building into the present church.

Page updated 31st January 2000