A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.
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Churches Built Since 1800 (fn. 1)
ALL SAINTS, Far Gosford Street, was consecrated in 1869. It was designed by Paull and Robinson (fn. 2) in the Early English style and built of red sandstone. It consists of an aisled and clerestoried nave, a chancel flanked by an organ chamber and a north chapel, and a south-west bell-cote containing one bell. (fn. 3) The aisles are roofed with small transverse gables, one to each bay. The church possesses a silver flagon and chalice of 1850. (fn. 4)
The parish was created in 1869 from parts of the parishes of Holy Trinity, St. Michael, Coventry, and St. Peter. (fn. 5) The living, a titular vicarage, was in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 6) until 1919 when the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry. (fn. 7)
CHRIST CHURCH, situated in the angle of Union Street and Warwick Lane, was built in 1830- 32 and incorporated the 14th-century tower and spire of the former Greyfriars church. (fn. 8) It was intended as a chapel of ease to St. Michael, Coventry, (fn. 9) in the charge of a perpetual curate appointed by the vicar. (fn. 10) The parish was not created until 1900, when part of St. Michael was detached for that purpose. The new living, which was styled a vicarage, was at first in the gift of the trustees of the church, (fn. 11) and from 1932 in that of the Church Trust Fund Trust. (fn. 12)
When the decision to build a new church was generally adopted in 1825 the tower was presented by the corporation and additional land, which was being offered for sale as building plots, was acquired. (fn. 13) The costs were met partly by public subscription and partly by parliamentary grant from the Church Building Commission. (fn. 14) Rickman and Hutchinson were the architects of the new building, which consisted of an aisled and clerestoried nave and was of scholarly Gothic design in keeping with the 14th-century character of the tower. The west end had a central doorway, three large windows with Decorated tracery, and angle pinnacles. The base of the Greyfriars tower formed the chancel, entered from the nave by a low segmental arch. The aisles contained galleries behind the arcades and there was also a west gallery supporting the organ. The structure was of brick, faced with Bath stone, the same stone being used to re-face the tower. (fn. 15) There was one bell, of 1851, by W. and J. Taylor of Oxford. (fn. 16)
The body of the church was reduced to a shell by bombing in 1940. It was eventually decided to demolish the ruins and rebuild on another site further from the centre of the city. (fn. 17) The octagonal tower, the smallest of Coventry's 'three spires', has been preserved.
CHRIST CHURCH, Frankpledge Road, Cheylesmore, was built to replace the bombed Christ Church and was consecrated in 1958. (fn. 20) The parish was created in 1957 out of St. Anne and Stivichall. (fn. 21) The living, a titular vicarage, remained in the gift of the Church Trust Fund Trust. (fn. 22) The large parish hall was completed first and was dedicated for services in 1956. (fn. 23) Attached to it are smaller meeting rooms on two floors.
The church, designed by A. H. Gardner (fn. 24) and built of brick and concrete, consists of aisled nave, shallow chancel, organ chamber, and vestries. The nave and aisles are of equal width, each housed under a segmental barrel roof; they are divided internally by slender cylindrical columns. The entrance front consists almost entirely of glass. Between the church and the parish hall is a tall brick tower, the base of which forms an entrance vestibule. The vicarage stands on the opposite side of the church and is connected to it by a covered way. The church possesses an early Gothic Revival set of plate, consisting of a silver flagon, chalice, and paten of 1843. (fn. 25)
The HOLY CROSS, Caludon. See ST. MARY MAGDALEN, Wyken (p. 343).
ST. ALBAN, Stoke Heath, originally a mission church of St. Mary Magdalen, Wyken, (fn. 26) stands at the junction of Mercer Avenue and North Street. It was opened in 1929, (fn. 27) designed by H. B. Creswell, (fn. 28) and is built of red brick with a Roman tile roof. It consists of aisled nave, chancel, transepts, vestries, and a bell-cote containing one bell. A parish was assigned in 1939 out of Wyken. (fn. 29) The living, a titular vicarage, is in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 30)
St. Chad, Upper Stoke, in Stratford Road, which had been a mission church successively of Stoke and Wyken parishes, (fn. 31) was transferred to St. Alban in 1929 (fn. 32) and is still used as a parish hall. (fn. 33)
ST. ANDREW, Copsewood. See ST. MICHAEL, Stoke (p. 360).
ST. ANNE, Acacia Avenue, was originally erected during the First World War by John Davenport Siddeley (created Lord Kenilworth in 1937) as a canteen and recreational centre for munition workers at the Armstrong-Siddeley factory, Park Side. (fn. 34) The building was given by Siddeley after the war to St. Michael, Coventry, for use as a mission church and was dedicated in 1930 after being enlarged and refurnished, mainly at his expense. (fn. 35) Its dedication was that of the medieval Charterhouse which had stood nearby. (fn. 36) It comprises a two-story brick building, to which was added, in 1930, a tower above the main entrance in the north wall, small transepts, and an apsidal chancel. (fn. 37) The church is on the upper floor and the semi-basement is used as a church hall.
The parish was created in 1930 out of All Saints and St. Michael and the patronage assigned to the bishop. (fn. 38) The living was styled a vicarage. From 1938 to 1948 the patronage belonged to the bishop and the Crown in alternation, but subsequently to the bishop alone. (fn. 39)
The hall church of St. Catherine, Stoke Aldermoor, a small brick building faced with stucco, was built in the Pondfield, Pinley, in 1939 (fn. 40) to serve the new Stoke Aldermoor housing estate. (fn. 41) This area, including the church, was transferred to Stoke parish in 1959. (fn. 42)
ST. BARBARA, Rochester Road, Earlsdon, was consecrated in 1931. (fn. 43) A temporary church, at the junction of Rochester Road, and Palmerston Road, Earlsdon, had first been opened in 1913 as a mission of St. Thomas, Albany Road, (fn. 44) and a conventional district was assigned to it in 1917. (fn. 45) The new church was built of red brick with stone dressings and was designed by Austin and Paley of Lancaster in an elaborate Perpendicular style. It consists of nave and apsidal chancel, both having aisles and clerestories. The north aisle and west wall were never completed to the original design and are of much simpler character. There is a large carved oak pulpit, probably of 17th-century German origin. The church was damaged by bombing during the Second World War. (fn. 46) The old church in Palmerston Road continued to be used as a church hall. In 1965 it was converted for use as offices.
The parish was created in 1922 out of St. Michael, Coventry, and St. Thomas. (fn. 47) The living was styled a vicarage and was in the gift of the bishop. From 1922 to 1924 and after 1937 the patronage belonged to the Crown and the bishop in alternation. (fn. 48)
ST. BARNABAS, Cromwell Street. See ST. MARK.
ST. CATHERINE, Stoke Aldermoor. See ST. ANNE, and ST. MICHAEL, Stoke (p. 360).
ST. CHAD, Hillmorton Road, Woodend, was consecrated in 1957. The architect was Basil (later Sir Basil) Spence (fn. 49) and the church is one of three in Coventry of similar design, the others being St. John the Divine, Willenhall, and St. Oswald, Tile Hill, qq.v. In form the building is a plain rectangle with a low-pitched roof, the interior containing nave and chancel. Structurally it consists of a steel frame of eight bays, the end walls being of glass and the side walls of concrete with the aggregate left exposed. There is a detached campanile of openwork concrete construction and a vestibule connecting the church with the parish hall.
ST. CHAD, Upper Stoke. See ST. ALBAN, Stoke Heath, ST. MARY MAGDALEN, Wyken (pp. 342-3), and ST. MICHAEL, Stoke (p. 360).
ST. CHRISTOPHER, Allesley Park, standing at the junction of Buckingham Rise and Winsford Avenue, was consecrated in 1960. (fn. 52) It is built of yellow brick and is a cruciform church with a flat roof, the church hall, screened off with folding doors, taking the place of a nave. In addition to the high altar there is a free-standing communion table at the crossing, surrounded by an octagonal rail. The architect was N. F. Cachemaille-Day. (fn. 53)
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, Links Road, North Radford, was consecrated in 1959. (fn. 56) It was designed by N. F. Cachemaille-Day (fn. 57) and is built of yellow brick in a simple traditional style. The only external ornament, on the south wall of the bell turret, is a fibre-glass relief of St. Francis preaching to animals and birds. The accommodation consists of a clerestoried nave with passage aisles, a south porch, north and south transepts, and a chancel with a freestanding altar. To the east of the chancel is a Lady Chapel with a rectangular bell turret, containing one bell, against its south wall. The north transept houses the organ and in the south transept is a chapel dedicated to St. Francis.
The church replaced an earlier church hall, a mission of St. Nicholas, Radford, which occupies the adjoining site. This was opened and a conventional district assigned to it in 1939, (fn. 58) but the building was twice rendered unusable by bomb damage, in 1940 and 1943. (fn. 59) A parish was formed in 1952 out of St. Luke and St. Nicholas. (fn. 60) The living, which was styled a vicarage from 1959, (fn. 61) is in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 62)
ST. GEORGE, Barkers Butts Lane, was dedicated in 1939. (fn. 63) It was designed by N. F. Cachemaille-Day (fn. 64) and built of red brick in a modern version of the Perpendicular style. It consists of nave, north aisle, Lady Chapel, west tower, and south porch. The tower, entered from the porch, has a low octagonal second stage surmounted by a spire. Internally its base forms a spacious baptistery which also serves as a vestibule to the nave.
The building replaced St. George's Hall which had been dedicated in 1929. (fn. 65) A conventional district had been assigned to it in the same year. (fn. 66) The parish was formed in 1935 from St. John the Baptist, Coventry, St. Nicholas, and St. Thomas, Keresley-with-Coundon, and the living, which was styled a vicarage, (fn. 67) was then placed in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 68)
ST. GEORGE, Camden Street. See ST. MARY MAGDALEN, Wyken (p. 342), and ST. MARGARET, Walsgrave Road.
ST. JAMES, Fletchamstead, which stands at the junction of Tile Hill Lane and Westcotes, was begun in 1936. (fn. 69) It is built of greyish-yellow brick and is approximately square in shape, consisting of a nave, lit by tall pointed windows, and an organ gallery only, with provision for an eastward extension. Internally the nave is spanned by open concrete trusses reaching to the ground.
The building was licensed in 1937 as a mission church of St. John the Baptist, Westwood. (fn. 70) In 1964 a parish was assigned to it out of Westwood and the living, styled a vicarage, placed in the gift of the bishop. (fn. 71)
ST. JAMES, Whitley (and Willenhall). See ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, Willenhall.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Westwood, was consecrated in 1844 (fn. 72) as a chapel of Stoneleigh parish. A district was assigned to it out of Stoneleigh in 1846 (fn. 73) and the living was declared a vicarage in 1866. (fn. 74) The major part of the parish was taken into Coventry in 1928 under the boundary extension Act of the previous year. (fn. 75) The church, which stands in Westwood Heath Road, very near the city boundary, is a stone building in the style of the 13th and 14th centuries, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch, and a western bell-cote containing one bell. (fn. 76) It was designed by Scott (later Sir Gilbert Scott) and Moffat; a vestry was added in 1876 and a choir vestry in 1923. (fn. 77) The patronage was at first in the hands of the Vicar of Stoneleigh, but it was transferred to Lord Leigh in 1873 (fn. 78) and again, in 1925, to the bishop. (fn. 79)
A mission room was built in Station Avenue, Tile Hill, in 1923, (fn. 80) but was later replaced by St. James, Fletchamstead, q.v., which was licensed as a mission of Westwood in 1937. St. James became a parish church in 1964 and, at the same time, a conventional district was assigned to St. Stephen, Canley, a daughter church of Westwood opened in 1954. (fn. 81) This is a small brick building in Charter Avenue.
ST. JOHN THE DIVINE, Willenhall, which stands in Robin Hood Road, in the centre of the Manor House estate, was consecrated in 1957. (fn. 82)
The first modern place of worship in this district, which was a detached part of Holy Trinity parish known in the 20th century as Holy Trinity Without, was St. James's mission room, built and licensed for services in 1884. (fn. 83) The mission room, a red-brick building with a small belfry, (fn. 84) stood in St. James's Lane, south of the site of the medieval chapel of Willenhall. (fn. 85) It also housed a Church of England day school which was opened in 1885. (fn. 86) The mission was served from Holy Trinity and was apparently rebuilt or at least re-licensed, as St. James's mission church, in 1933. (fn. 87) In 1940, as the result of a change made in the ecclesiastical parish boundaries, an area roughly corresponding to that of the medieval locality of Whitley (fn. 88) was transferred from St. Anne's parish, which had formerly been part of St. Michael's ancient parish, to Holy Trinity Without. (fn. 89) Thenceforward this area was served by the Abbey Church, Whitley, (fn. 90) formerly the Roman Catholic chapel attached to Whitley Abbey, which was in the charge of a curate from Holy Trinity. (fn. 91) The Abbey Church was replaced in 1950 by the church of St. James, Whitley and Willenhall, (fn. 92) a small brown-brick building in Abbey Road, which was licensed in 1951. (fn. 93) St. James's was transferred to the parish of Willenhall with Whitley when this was created in 1958, and has since then been known simply as St. James, Whitley. (fn. 94)
The new church of St. John the Divine was designed by Basil Spence (fn. 95) and was one of three new Coventry churches by this architect built in 1956-7. (fn. 96) It is similar in design to St. Chad's, Woodend, (fn. 97) except that the east end is not glazed, the sanctuary being lit by tall narrow windows in the side walls. The campanile is connected with the north door by a covered way. A vestibule on the south side forms a common entrance to both church and parish hall.
ST. KATHERINE, Hales Street. See HOLY TRINITY (p. 326).
ST. LUKE, Rotherham Road, Holbrooks, was completed in 1939, and was designed by N. F. Cachemaille-Day. The exterior was of red brick and notable features were an external altar, an external pulpit, and concrete windows filled with elaborate fretted tracery and stained glass. The accommodation consisted of nave, south porch, apsidal chancel, and vestries; a north aisle was never completed. The church was rendered unusable by bombing in 1940 but was restored to its original design, with the exception of the south windows, about ten years later. (fn. 100)
An earlier church of St. Luke, built of coke-breeze blocks and standing at the junction of Lythall's Lane and Holbrooks Lane, had been erected in 1916 as a mission church of St. Paul for the use of munitions workers in the hostels and factories of Foleshill and Whitmore Park. (fn. 101) This was taken over as a rest centre in 1939, but was also damaged by bombing. A wooden church hall adjoining it was used for services between 1940 and 1944 when the new church was made weather-proof. In 1949 the walls of the old church were cased in brick and it was restored for use as a church hall. (fn. 102)
ST. MARGARET, Walsgrave Road, was completed in 1911. (fn. 105) Services were held at first at the Coronet Works in 1909 before the foundation stone was laid in 1910. (fn. 106) The church is constructed of red brick with stone dressings in the Perpendicular style and consists of an aisled and clerestoried nave, a chancel flanked by a north chapel and a south organ chamber with vestries, north and south transepts, west baptistery, and north porch. There is a west bell-cote containing one bell. The church was severely damaged by bombing during the Second World War. (fn. 107) The work of restoration was completed in 1954; (fn. 108) the chancel was also altered to give a more forward position to the altar.
The church was built as a chapel of Stoke parish and was served by a curate-in-charge (fn. 109) until the parish was created in 1913 out of St. Peter and Stoke. (fn. 110) The living, a titular vicarage, was in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 111) until 1919 when the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry. (fn. 112)
In 1915 a site was acquired for a mission church in Camden Street, on which was built St. George's Hall. This was used as a parish room until it was handed over to the parochial authorities of St. Mary Magdalen, Wyken, about 1921. (fn. 113)
ST. MARK, which stands at the junction of Bird Street and Stoney Stanton Road, was consecrated in 1869. It was designed by Paull and Robinson, the architects of All Saints, (fn. 114) and is built of red sandstone in the Gothic style, comprising chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, transepts, a north porch, and a double bell-cote at the north-west angle containing one bell. (fn. 115)
The parish was created in 1869, out of Holy Trinity, a detached part of St. Michael, Coventry, and St. Peter. (fn. 116) The living, styled a vicarage, was at first in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester, (fn. 117) but the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry in 1919. (fn. 118)
From 1894 the church conducted a mission room in Stoney Stanton Road, (fn. 119) which was moved to Cobden Street in 1896. (fn. 120) In 1901 a new mission room was opened in Red Lane; (fn. 121) another room was built in 1906, at the junction of Red Lane and Smith Street, which was used as a parish hall and for occasional services. It was sold in 1958. (fn. 122) In 1933 the mission moved to the newly-completed mission church of St. Barnabas in Cromwell Street. (fn. 123) This is a substantial red-brick building with stone dressings, consisting of nave, chancel, and north aisle.
ST. MARTIN, Wyken Way. See ST. MARY MAGDALEN, Wyken (p. 342).
ST. MARY MAGDALEN, which stands at the junction of Hearsall Lane and Sir Thomas White's Road, Chapel Fields, was built in 1934 (fn. 124) and consists of aisled nave, apsidal chancel, Lady Chapel, and vestries. The architect was H. T. Jackson. (fn. 125) It is a tall red-brick church with stone dressings and a roof of glazed blue tiles; in style it incorporates Romanesque and Byzantine features. Provision has been made for the addition of a tower at the end of the nave. The dedication of the church is that of a medieval chapel at Spon which probably stood nearby. (fn. 126)
The first church in the area was a corrugated iron structure at Spon End, which was opened in 1895 as a mission room of St. Thomas, Albany Road, to serve the district of Spon End and Chapel Fields. (fn. 127) In 1917 a conventional district was assigned, and the mission was moved from Spon End to the mission church of St. Mary Magdalene in Sir Thomas White's Road, (fn. 128) which was later replaced by the new church. (fn. 129)
The parish was created in 1926 out of St. Michael, Coventry, and St. Thomas, and the living, a titular vicarage, was assigned to the gift of the bishop. (fn. 130) Between 1938 and 1945 the patronage was exercised by the Crown and the bishop in alternation, but subsequently by the bishop alone. (fn. 131)
ST. MARY, Red Lane. See ST. MICHAEL, Coventry (p. 352).
ST. MARY, Whitefriars Lane. See ST. MICHAEL, Coventry (p. 352).
ST. MATTHEW, Lenton's Lane. See ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, Walsgrave-on-Sowe (p. 345), and ST. THOMAS, Longford.
ST. MICHAEL, Copsewood. See ST. MICHAEL, Stoke (p. 360).
ST. NICHOLAS, Radford, which stood at the junction of Dugdale Road and Radford Road, was consecrated in 1874 as a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity. The dedication is that of one of Holy Trinity's medieval chapels. (fn. 132) The church was designed by G. Taylor of Coventry and built of locally-quarried red sandstone in the Early English style. (fn. 133) Originally it comprised a chancel, nave, and western bell-cote with one bell; (fn. 134) a north aisle was added in 1913. (fn. 135)
On 14 November 1940 the church was destroyed by bombing and four fire-watchers were killed. (fn. 136) Services were conducted in a public house and a cinema until the damaged church hall was repaired. The new church of St. Nicholas was built on a site to the north of the churchyard and was consecrated in 1955. It was designed by Lavender, Twentyman, and Percy (fn. 137) and claimed to be the 'first new church consecrated in Coventry after the war which broke away from traditional church design'. (fn. 138) The building is of reinforced concrete, faced externally with yellow brick; the roof is segmental and the side walls are sloped inwards at 10 degrees to the vertical. It consists of a structurally undivided nave and chancel, north and south aisles, vestries, and a tall brick campanile containing two bells. The south aisle forms a vestibule between the nave and a future church hall. The north aisle contains a Lady Chapel and baptistery, the stone font having been rescued from the old church. The two-manual organ, by Nicholsons of Worcester, is designed as an architectural feature at the west end of the nave. (fn. 139) The church possesses a silver gilt chalice of 1849. (fn. 140)
The parish was formed in 1912 out of Holy Trinity and the living, a titular vicarage, was placed in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester. (fn. 141) The patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry in 1919. (fn. 142)
St. Francis of Assisi, q.v., was originally a mission of St. Nicholas.
ST. OSWALD, Tile Hill, stands in Jardine Crescent and was consecrated in 1957. It is one of three similar churches designed by Basil Spence, the others being St. Chad, Woodend, and St. John the Divine, Willenhall, qq.v. In most respects St. Oswald resembles the latter, but the glazed area at the west end has been reduced, leaving only a margin of glass. Externally on the east wall is a bronze figure of Christ. The church hall stands to the south, the campanile to the south-east, and the vicarage to the north of the church. (fn. 143)
The new parish was formed in 1958 out of St. John the Baptist, Westwood, with the bishop as patron of the living, a titular vicarage. (fn. 144)
ST. PAUL, Foleshill Road, was completed in 1841. It was built of red brick in the Gothic style, to the design of J. L. Ackroyd, (fn. 145) and comprised chancel, nave, north and south aisles containing galleries, and a west tower with one bell. (fn. 146) The cost was partly defrayed by a grant from the Church Building Commission. (fn. 147) The church was largely destroyed by bombing in 1940 and was rebuilt after the war. The tower was retained, but was reduced in height. The new church is of red brick in a simplified Romanesque style, having round-headed windows and semi-circular arches to the nave arcades. The church possesses a silver chalice and paten of 1577. (fn. 148)
St. Luke, q.v., was originally a mission church of St. Paul.
ST. PETER, Canterbury Street, Harnall, was completed and consecrated in 1841. (fn. 151) The building, of red brick, was designed by Robert Ebbels (fn. 152) in a free version of the Gothic style, having tall lancet windows to the nave and a Perpendicular west tower. In the 19th century it was criticized both for its brick construction and for its 'want of architectural character'. (fn. 153) The church stands in a large graveyard and consists of a wide unaisled nave, formerly fitted with galleries, a shallow chancel, and a west tower with its base forming an entrance vestibule. The tower contains one bell of 1853 by C. and G. Mears of London. (fn. 154) Part of the cost of the building was contributed by the Church Building Commission. (fn. 155)
A parish, consisting of the locality of Harnall, was formed in 1842 out of Holy Trinity. (fn. 156) The living, which is in the gift of the Vicar of Holy Trinity, was at first a perpetual curacy but was styled a vicarage after 1868. (fn. 157)
A mission room of corrugated iron and wood was opened in Sackville Street in 1900. (fn. 158) It comprised chancel, organ chamber, and vestries, with space for three classrooms, separated by movable screens. (fn. 159) The building was disused and derelict in 1964.
ST. SAVIOUR, Spon Street. See ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Coventry (p. 338).
ST. STEPHEN, Canley. See ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Westwood.
ST. THOMAS was opened and consecrated in 1849. It stands at the junction of Albany Road and the Butts on land over which the Coventry freemen formerly had pasturage rights. (fn. 160) The building is of red sandstone and was designed by Sharpe and Paley of Lancaster in the early Decorated style. It consists of aisled and clerestoried nave, chancel, north porch, vestries, and north-west bell turret containing one bell. (fn. 161) The cost was partly defrayed by a grant from the Church Building Commission. (fn. 162)
The parish was created in 1844 out of St. John the Baptist, Coventry. The living was at first a perpetual curacy, (fn. 163) but since 1868 has been styled a vicarage. (fn. 164) It was in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Worcester alternately (fn. 165) until 1911, when the Crown's alternate right of presentation was transferred to the bishop. (fn. 166) The patronage was again transferred, to the Bishop of Coventry, in 1919. (fn. 167)
St. Barbara and St. Mary Magdalen, Hearsall Lane, qq.v., both originated as mission churches of St. Thomas.
ST. THOMAS, Keresley-with-Coundon, was consecrated in 1847. (fn. 168) The building, of red sandstone, standing in Tamworth Road in Keresley, between High Street and Sandpits Lane, was designed mainly in the Early English style by Benjamin Ferrey. It consists of nave, chancel, south porch, and pinnacled western tower surmounted by a spire, with a ring of five bells by C. and G. Mears. (fn. 169) The cost was partly defrayed by a grant from the Church Building Commission. (fn. 170)
The consolidated chapelry of Keresley-with-Coundon was created out of detached parts of Holy Trinity and St. Michael, Coventry, in 1848. It was to be served by a perpetual curate with the Bishop of Worcester as patron. (fn. 171) The living was styled a vicarage after 1868, (fn. 172) and the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry in 1919. (fn. 173) In the late 19th century the church became the social centre of the neighbourhood. (fn. 174)
With the growth of the colliery estate during the First World War, (fn. 175) it became necessary to make special provision for the north of the district, and a mission room, served by the vicar, was opened in a hut in Fivefield Lane, at Keresley Green, in 1920. (fn. 176) In 1925 the Colliery Company provided a permanent wooden building, known as (Lower) Keresley Mission Church, in Bennett's Road. The church was for some years served by a lay-reader; subsequently a full-time mission worker was appointed. (fn. 177) The Church Hut in Fivefield Lane is still used for social purposes. (fn. 178)
ST. THOMAS, Longford, which was consecrated in 1874 as a chapel of ease to St. Lawrence, Foleshill, stands at the junction of Hurst Road and Longford Road. It was designed by J. Cotton of Birmingham in the Gothic style, and was built of red brick with stone and blue brick dressings to include nave, north aisle, chancel, organ chamber, (fn. 179) and north-west tower with a porch at its base. A ring of eight bells by Taylor of Loughborough was hung in the tower in 1892. (fn. 180)
The parish was created out of Exhall, Foleshill, and Sowe in 1908. (fn. 181) The living, a titular vicarage, was in the gift of the Bishop of Worcester (fn. 182) until 1919 when the patronage was transferred to the Bishop of Coventry. (fn. 183)
In 1908 St. Thomas's took charge of Hawkesbury mission church, (fn. 184) which had first been licensed in 1859 as a mission of Sowe parish to the colliery district. (fn. 185) This church, later known as St. Matthew, Lenton's Lane, or St. Matthew's Mission, Hawkesbury, (fn. 186) was originally built of corrugated iron with a cast-iron framework and included a small belltower at its south-east corner. The building was faced with concrete in the 20th century. (fn. 187) Because of disrepair it was closed for worship in 1963 and was completely derelict by the following year.