St Patrick - Holy Cross R.C. Church

Served by the Society of the Divine Saviour - The Salvatorians

The R C Church of the Holy Cross

A plain, functional church of 1950, originally intended as the parish hall. It is located in the Plumstead Common conservation area.

Served from Plumstead, the church was built in 1950 from designs by Archard, Worrow & Hardy. Originally the building was intended to be the parish hall, with a church to be built alongside. However, plans changed and the building was modified to serve as the church. In 1967 Plumstead Common became an independent parish. In 1973 the house next to the church, 27 The Slade, was bequeathed to the parish.

In 1979-80 the architects Myles and Deidre Dove converted the house into the presbytery and created a link building containing a small parish room, toilet facilities and a services control room. The glazed porch was enlarged and the church redecorated. The cost was £34,099 and the builders were Purl & Balderstone. In 1982, under Myles Dove’s supervision, the old asbestos roof was replaced by corrugated metal with improved insulation.

The church is actually facing southeast; however, this description uses the conventional liturgical orientation.

The church was built in 1950 from designs by the architectural practice of Archard, Worrow & Hardy. The building is partly prefabricated, with a reinforced concrete portal frame and brick elevations, laid in Flemish bond. The pitched roof is of corrugated metal. The plan is rectangular with a link building to the presbytery at the southwest corner.

The west facade facing the street has a large asymmetrically-placed glazed porch in front of a blind brick facade. The north elevation has six domestic-style rectangular UPVC windows. The porch is timber-framed with large metal windows. The entrance doors are centrally placed with a side door into the link building.

Internally, the continuous space for nave and chancel occupies five bays, with a one- bay sacristy behind the chancel. The altar, tabernacle stand and lectern are modern and of timber, in matching design. Above the altar is a carved crucifix. To the left of the sanctuary are statues of the Virgin and St Joseph, to the right of the Sacred Heart and St Anthony. The Stations of the Cross are unframed carved timber reliefs. At the west is a self-contained timber confessional.

Since September 2015, following the departure of Fr. Steven Fisher, the parish of Holy Cross, Plumstead Common, has been merged with St. Patrick’s, its church becoming a chapel-of-ease. The church is now under the care of the Salvatorians. Father Richard Mway Zeng SDS and  Father Ponder Paulinus Ngilangwa SDS, both based at St Patrick’s Church Presbytery were the first Salvatorians to serve at Holy Cross respectively Parish Priest and Assistant Priest.

Mass times at the Holy Cross have recently been reorganised to ease the flow of services and to ensure that both parishes are looked after even when only one priest is available.

Since 2017, after Father Richard Mway SDS has been elected as Provincial Superior of the Salvatorians in UK ands has delocated to Abbots Langley, he has been replaced by Fr. Auson Kamugisha SDS, joined later in November 2018 by Fr. Dieudonné Zeng SDS as Assistant Priest.