Stalybridge church listed to prevent demolition

English Heritage has awarded Grade 2 listed status to St Raphael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Millbrook, Stalybrige after an application by Manchester Modernist Society.

Stalybridge churchJack Hale of MMS said: "Members of the society visited the church in the summer and were wowed by the overall design, the stained glass and the bespoke Stations of the Cross. They were shocked to hear just a couple of weeks later that the Church was to be closed by the Diocese of Shrewsbury, due to the expense of maintenance. The society quickly pulled together a band of experts and swiftly submitted a listing application – demolition was on the cards…but the listing was approved by the Minister for Tourism and Heritage from 13 December."

The 1963 church building and its interior are largely in tact. St Raphael's was designed by Massey & Massey of Warrington. It features dalle de verre stained glass by Pierre Fourmaintraux of Powells Whitefriars Studios, bespoke ceramic Stations of the Cross and water stoops by Alan Boyson and a central pendant light fitting by McGloughlin of Dublin.

Hale added: "When we heard that the church had closed we just had to act in order to try to save it from further decay, vandalism or even worse -we were shocked to discover (after the listing was approved) that the council had received notification of intention to demolish – thankfully this has now been prevented and this remarkable building has been saved."

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A great success from a grass-roots organisation. Saving this from the wrecking ball is to all of our benefit.

By Steve

Listing is all very well but doesn’t solve the original problem. Who’s going to pay for the costly repair work? I understand moves were afoot to preserve the stained glass windows. Now the building will just remain boarded up and decaying further.

By Martin Clark

Out for a run in the car today and actually made a u turn so I could come back and have a look at this place! Having had a look on the internet tonight, I’m happy to see that the building has been saved…the glass work, even from the outside was beautiful.

By Dee

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