Major restoration for historic Catholic church in the middle of a Shropshire town

by | Apr 5, 2024 | Faith Spaces, Newsfeed

Major restoration work is planned to be carried out at a historic church which is tucked away in the middle of a Shropshire town.

Proposals have been submitted to Telford & Wrekin Council for the restoration work of St Peter & St Paul’s Church off Salters Lane in Newport.

Work includes a replacement roof to part of the church due to ‘significant damage’ being caused by leaks.

A heritage statement included with the plans state that the building is a ‘good example’ of an early 19th century Roman Catholic church with an attached ‘contemporary’ presbytery which also retains remnants of a 17th century hall.

The church was designed by architect Joseph Potter of Lichfield (who was a Catholic) and was funded by the sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, who was AWN Pugin’s patron. The church was opened by Bishop Walsh in July 1832.

Athough the church was not designed by A W N Pugin, he is recorded as having carried out unspecified alterations and repairs in 1838 and 1840. It is also likely that he designed the decoration and furnishing of the intricately coloured and stencilled sanctuary with a high altar with richly-coloured front panel in the manner of cloisonné enamel.

Five of the tall, lancet windows have exquisitely detailed designs of standing saints designed in 1912-18 in the Arts and Crafts manner by the accomplished stained glass artist Margaret Agnes Rope, a highly devout woman who joined the Carmelite Order in 1923 but continued to design stained glass for religious settings.

The current proposals include replacing an existing orangery and roof along with external brickwork and repairs to internal oak timbers. Planners said slipped, chipped and damaged roof tiles had caused flooding and internal wet rot damage. They added any lengthy delays in work increased the risk of further structural defects and damage to stained glass.

“The primary focus of all proposed works is in the best interest of the church to ensure the preservation of its architectural and historical integrity,” said the plan’s design statement.

“By conducting these essential works, it will ensure the longevity of the building and maintaining its historical importance as reflected by Historic England on its Grade II-listed status.


VIDEO: Agora Journal at Chester Cathedral

VIDEO: Crucifix restoration by Brushworks

VIDEO: The Friends of Friendless Churches – our greatest saves