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Church History

Holy Name Catholic Church in Cross Lane, Great Barr was built in 1938 and formally opened in December that year. The architect was Mr E Bower Norris of the firm of Sandy and Norris, Stafford. The builder was the company Deakin and Boardman of Walsall. Holy Name was designed in the style then known as ‘moderne’ or ‘international’, and sometimes called art deco. There are also elements that can be called ‘Romanesque’ such as the massive bell tower and the semi-circular apse.

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The most innovative part of the church is the front exterior, which consists of a rectangular brick tower and entrance facade. Windows and doorways are also rectangular, unlike most churches. Holy Name interiorThe design is enlivened with brick detailing, including 2 sets of 3 pilasters resembling fins, perhaps reminiscent of a cinema of the period. Other patterning is provided by the glazing bars of the windows.The body of the church is rectangular ending in a semicircular apse. In the 1960s side chapels were added.
The interior was originally simple and rectangular. Extensive alterations took place in the 1980’s.

Author: Tim O’Mara