Our Lady of Fatima church gets Grade II* preservation status

Communities / Thu 3rd Aug 2023 at 07:21am

A HARLOW church is being upgraded to a Grade II* listing. 

Harlow’s Roman Catholic Church of our Lady of Fatima is situated on First Avenue at Howard Way.

Historic England said the 1960-built church had a “modern style, striking spire and glorious glass panels”. 

It was already listed at Grade II in 2000 and had become Grade II* [star] to “reflect its historic and architectural significance”.

The church was designed in the 1950s by Gerard Goalen, who was working with architect Frederick Gibberd designing factories for Harlow’s industrial estates. 

Mr Gibberd went on to design the famous Catholic Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, which was said to have been inspired by the Harlow church.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said: “This stunning church was created as part of the new town of Harlow, offering a brighter and better future in the post-war years, and has been at the heart of the community ever since.” 

He added that “it has proved an inspiration in contemporary church design and is loved by people who take comfort in its calming, beautiful presence every day”.

One of the features of the church is its specialist “dalle de verre” glass panels, created by one of the most prominent glass artists of the 20th Century, Benedictine Monk Dom Charles Norris.

Historic England said the glass panels covered about 60% of the walls, “bathing the church in glorious colour and light”. 

Rt Revd Alan Williams, Catholic bishop of Brentwood, said: “Our Lady of Fatima Church in Harlow is an important church architecturally, not just in the diocese but nationally. It was one of the first of its kind and unique for its stained glass.”

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10 Comments for Our Lady of Fatima church gets Grade II* preservation status:

J Stone
2023-08-03 07:50:36

Beautiful glowing windows. It's a shame that the cross that topped the spire hasn't been replaced. Is it true that the spire was added using a helicopter?

J Stone
2023-08-03 07:51:19

Is it true that the spire was added using a helicopter?

2023-08-03 09:09:11

Yes it is true. see link https://theimportanceofbeingmodernist.tumblr.com/post/65561188544/our-lady-of-fatima-church-gerard-goalen

2023-08-03 09:46:27

Even if you are not a church goer it is well worth a visit. It’s a bit special. Harlow should be very proud. Your Harlow, can you find out and include public opening times? It’s often locked…

2023-08-03 10:39:06

A wonderful thing to do. When will the cross be fitted again?

2023-08-03 11:29:33

Such good news and at least it wont be demolished to make way for high rise homes. A beautiful church.

2023-08-03 16:18:34

The cross will be replaced, in fact the whole spire is likely to need replacing. Unfortunately the process is rather a long one and because of the listed status there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Rest assured though it will happen. In terms of J Stone question re the helicopter the answer is a definite no (Cranes we’re used)

2023-08-03 18:27:49

Was used on the chemical brothers album cover

Bruce Downey
2023-08-04 06:11:25

Wingy, Yes..1998 album-Brothers gonna work it out.. Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat..🙏

Florence Yao
2023-08-05 02:04:22

I love my church. Thank you for both priests who have been working hard to maintain the faith of the parishoners.

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