Building Carrs Lane Church Centre
‘Messrs Denys Hinton and Partners’ designed the building of Carrs Lane Church Centre and completed it in 1970. Professor Denys Hinton’s obituary in The Times on April 3 2010 said, ‘Denys Hinton was one of the pioneers of a Modernist form of church architecture that thrived in Britain from the early 1960s’.
The building won a Civic Trust Award in 1972. Built of engineering bricks to reflect the industrial city, the austere but dramatic exterior hides a welcoming and comfortable interior.
Carrs Lane Cross
The Carrs Lane Cross by the main entrance overlooks Moor Street Queensway and is the largest free-standing cross in the country. It is made of CorTen steel, the same as The Angel of the North. As a result of its location, a black coating has developed on it, which prevents further rusting.
The Church Room and Organ
The building’s worship space is large and simply appointed. It is light, open and spacious, seating 350 (including the balcony). The comfortable seating is in sets of two or three chairs that are easily moveable, as is all the furniture except the stage and cross. The room is adaptable for different uses.
The room features:
- a large platform approached by two steps or a side ramp
- a tall, plain, wooden sanctuary cross, which provides a focus for worship
- a three-manual organ by Hill, Norman & Beard
- a grand piano
- a contemporary brass font – designed and made in 1970 by a young church member (moveable).
- plaques from the previous building that are displayed on a wall at the back of the room, commemorating the service of some past ministers and members. They include a World War I memorial.
The Main Foyer and Works of Art
The Main Foyer is on the upper ground floor. From here, visitors gain access to Reception, the Church Room, the Quiet Room, and stairs to other floors. The main foyer is now much lighter than it was prior to its successful refurbishment in 2008.
There are several Works of Art, in contrasting styles:
- Statue of Dr R W Dale (1897) by Edward Onslow Ford. This is a fine marble commemorating the famous 19th century minister of Carrs Lane Chapel.
- A Mural in Nails (1971) by Edward Bawden, CBE, RA. The mural commemorates previous chapel buildings and ministers. It hangs on the north wall.
- The Dance of Life mural (1993), by a group of Nicaraguan artists who created it at the Church Centre. Oxfam, the project’s sponsors, have loaned this as a permanent arrangement.