St Alban's Church, Southampton
|St Alban's Church|
|Church of St Alban the Martyr|
St Alban's Church, Southampton
|Website||Parish of Swaythling|
|Consecrated||17 June 1933|
|Heritage designation||Listed building - Grade II|
|Architect(s)||Nugent Francis Cachemaille-Day|
|Materials||Lime mortar rendered brick|
|Bishop(s)||Bishop of Southampton|
|Vicar(s)||The Revd Canon Gary Philbrick|
|Curate(s)||The Revd Sheena Williams|
Creation of the parish
The Parish of St Alban was formed at the beginning of 1932, mainly out of the South Stoneham Parish, but at that time there was no St Alban's church, only a site on which to build it. The land had been part of Swaythling Farm and had been acquired through the foresight of the then Archdeacon of Winchester (Ven. A. E. Daldy). Until the new church was ready worship in the new parish took place in St. Agnes Church, from 1905 to 1933, on Portswood Road and in the Burgess Road Mission which until then had been in Highfield Parish (latterly known as St Alban's Mission).
St Alban's Church was completed in 1933.
The site was large enough for not only for the church but for the vicarage and large halls; the importance of the grouping of the buildings means that they are collectively listed as Grade II on the English Heritage list of protected buildings.
A "big cruciform church with (a) low, broad central tower," it is on the Latin Cross plan and is late Gothic in style. The traditional outward appearance of the church contains a "spacious and well shaped interior", with a centralised altar that Pevsner described as "original and innovative". The east end of the church which would normally have formed the chancel was used as a Lady Chapel, while the main altar is sited under the central tower much closer to the congregation - now a common arrangement but present at St Alban's from the first. Space for a choir, which in churches at this time was generally seated between the congregation and the altar, was to be provided in a western gallery which was never completed due to a lack of funding.
St. Alban's was one of the first churches Cachemaille-Day designed and it shows the architect's early exploration of the logic of the Liturgical Movement which would come to a fuller expression in the more obviously radical designs of later churches, for example St Michael's, Northenden.
The East Window is by Christopher Webb (1886–1966), one of the most important stained-glass artists of the mid twentieth century, whose other work in Hampshire includes the East Window of the Bishop's Chapel at Wolvesey Palace. The main figures in the window represent Christ flanked on the left by Virgin Mary and St Boniface, and on the right by St Alban and St Wilfrid. The glass was the gift of Mrs F. Watkins in memory of her husband.
Vicars of St Alban's
1932–1946 The Revd Harold Bennett
1946–1967 The Revd Howard Rees-Jones
1968–1976 The Revd Kenneth Bachell
1976–1988 The Revd Frank Chivers
1988–1991 The Revd John Moore (Priest-in-Charge)
In 1992 the parishes of St Alban's and St Mary's were united as Swaythling Parish.
Vicars of Swaythling
1992–1999 The Revd John Moore
2000-2013 The Revd Canon Gary Philbrick
- "Church of St Alban and Church Hall - Southampton - Hampshire - England". British Listed Buildings. 28 January 1997. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- "St Alban’s in the full flower of life (From Daily Echo)". Dailyecho.co.uk. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
- "Church of St Alban and Church Hall". The National Heritage List. English Heritage. 28 January 1997. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- The Buildings of England: Hampshire, page 574
Pevsner, N. and Lloyd, D., The Buildings of England: Hampshire and The Isle of Wight (1973) Penguin Books