Two new relatively anonymous or obscure 1960s British churches of interest turned up the week on the flickr group Modern Churches of the UK. And as you hay have figured out by now, I'm a sucker for these. Why is it that so many of the low-profile post-war churches in England far exceed the quality of those in the states from the same period? Not that all of these are perfect, durable, or univerally loved--or indeed outshine what they in many cases replaced--but the level of design on average is quite surprising. Such a body of churches is far more admirable and desirable an accomplishment than a few stellar (and expensive) buildings. Perhaps it has something to do with a more grounded and involved engagement with the liturgical movement than occurred in America, though as of yet I have little to back up that assertion. It may have something to do with identity after the war, but the buildings of the 1960s are entirely indebted to the buildings of the interwar period.
The first church is Epiphany, Corby designed by D.F. Martinsmith and completed in 1961. It is a refined manipulation of peaked roofs over a compact greek cross, using the separation of the roof over the crossing to provide light to the interior.
As suggested by the geometry, this church features a prominent central altar, sufficiently raised, integrated with the whole of the structure and given ample space to maintain its prominence. A corona of hanging light fixtures completes the integration of the sanctuary with the structure. Something of a vestigial rood screen (turned iconostasis) screens one of the arms of the cross, though it appears to be the entrance rather than a chancel.
The second church is St Peter, Greenhill designed by Oxley and Bussey and completed in 1965. The plan of this church is fascinating, taking the planar reveals to stained glass common to churches of the period and applying them to a radial operations on a cylinder. The geometry seems more akin to Aldo Rossi than its contemporaries.
From the photos available, it is difficult to make out the exact relationship between the exterior and the configuration of the nave, though the spire does carry down into the nave to form the sanctuary below.