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Suburbs at prayer

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news in pictures

Scott Tallon Walker's £450,000 Church of Christ the King, opposite Walthamstow Dog Track and overlooking Chingford roundabout, replaces a temporary 150- seat church of 1932 in bad repair which was too small for the population.

The 1930s church was entered directly from the road and had no informal gathering space, whereas the new church has a generous protected outdoor paved area and a small triangular chapel, for prayer when the church is locked, linked to the main body of the church.

After lengthy consultations with the parish, the Liturgy Commission and the Art and Architecture Group, the main worship space was designed as a semi-circle, deemed to be more egalitarian than a wedge-shaped design rejected by the Liturgical Commission for placing too much emphasis on the celebrant. The main crucifix and the Stations of the Cross from the old church have been remounted in the new.

The new church adjoins the existing parish room and wcs. Storerooms have been placed in the space which separates the new building from the old. The diaphragm-wall construction uses bricks of the same-colour, but of higher quality, than those of the existing buildings. Internally, fair- faced blockwork is used with acoustic blockwork from the same range. Laminated timber beams radiate from a single point to form the roof structure, and alternate beams slope downwards to create a wave effect. Drainpipes set into the brickwork are positioned under dropped portions of the roof. Eight high-level windows ensure sunlight penetration at all times of day, and provide views of the sky rather than of hostile surroundings.

Architect: Scott Tallon Walker

Client: Brentwood Diocese

Sanctuary furniture: Herbert Read

Other furniture: Sindall Joinery

Main contractor: T J Evers

qs: Manders + Shaw

Structural engineer: The Butcher Partnership

Acoustic consultant: Tim Smith

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