About Sacred Heart Church

Sacred Heart Church is located in Forbes Road in the Hillsborough district of the city of SheffieldSouth Yorkshire, England at grid reference SK333894. It is a Roman Catholic church in the Diocese of Hallam and is a Grade II listed building. The church is situated in an elevated position and its tower is a prominent landmark in the area.


Since the 1850s the Catholics of Hillsborough and Lower Walkley had worshipped at the Hillsborough Barracks chapel. However the increase in population necessitated that larger premises were needed and on July 19th 1903 the Sacred Heart school-chapel was opened on land between Forbes Road and Ripley Street which had been purchased for £1,080. The chapel-school which was designed by C.M. Hadfield acted as a Chapel of ease for the St Vincent's parishand cost £3,000. The building still exists today and it houses the Sacred Heart Primary School.Since the 1850s the Catholics of Hillsborough and Lower Walkley had worshipped at the Hillsborough Barracks chapel. However the increase in population necessitated that larger premises were needed and on July 19th 1903 the Sacred Heart school-chapel was opened on land between Forbes Road and Ripley Street which had been purchased for £1,080. The chapel-school which was designed by C.M. Hadfield acted as a Chapel of ease for the St Vincent's parishand cost £3,000. The building still exists today and it houses the Sacred Heart Primary School.

History

The parish of Sacred Heart Hillsborough was created in 1920, becoming independent of St Vincent's on 5 August that year. R.J. Dunford was the first priest and at that time the parish had no church, Father Dunford initially conducted Mass in the chapel-school. A temporary church was eventually established and opened in February 1921 at a cost of £3,000. It was not until May 1935 that work started on the parish’s permanent church and on 7 July that year the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of LeedsJoseph Robert Cowgill. The cost of construction of the church was £13,000 and £10,000 of that was donated by a Mrs. Wake, the widow of a recipient of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. The church was opened on 25 March 1936 with a celebration of High Mass and sermon read by Richard DowneyArchbishop of Liverpool.[1]

The Church

The church was designed by the architect C.M. Hadfield and was constructed from specially made thin red bricks with an unusual surface texture. The external brickwork facing is unusual in that it employs Monk bond coursing which is rarely used. It has been called “one of the best interwar churches in Sheffield”. The original church had just one large bell supplied by John Taylor Bellfounders of Loughborough. It weighs over one ton and is in the tone of “F”, in 1943 the bell tower was strengthened and a peel of smaller bell was added by the same company to compliment the large bell. The bells are played in the maner of a carillon. The sculptor Philip Lindsay Clark (1889-1977) carved the 14 Stations of the Cross which are arranged around the internal walls, his other contributions are the statue of the Sacred Heart at the main door and the carvings in the tympanum above the door which is made of Portland stone.

Eric Newton created the mosaics for the reredos behind the altar, the most striking of which is a figure of the Sacred Heart with supporting angels in the apse. He added more mosaics in the side chapels shortly before his death in 1961, to commemorate the church’s silver jubilee. More changes were made to the altar in the late 1960s as a result of the Second Vatican Council. In 1983 a pitched roof replaced the flat one after the church had trouble with leaks for a number of years.[2][3]