Church of the Epiphany, Gipton, Leeds / by Heather Sutton

Client

The Anglican Church of the Epiphany, Gipton (Leeds)/Diocese of Ripon and York

Main Contractor

Maysand

Architect

Wiles and Maguire

Value: £220,000

Overview

The Church of the Epiphany in Gipton, Leeds, is located in the area chosen for one of first garden suburbs in the North of the city when Leeds City Council began its programme of slum clearance in the 1930s.

Opened in 1938 to replace the temporary ‘tin hut’ Mission Church on the site, the Grade I listed church cost £15,000 to build.

Architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day was strongly influenced by a church in Coutances, Normandy when designing the structure, which is an early example of a reinforced concrete frame with brick cladding, chamfered concrete plinth, concrete floor bands and raised coped parapets.

Having already undergone extensive repairs in 2012, including the re-pointing of the west wall and repairs to its window, improvements to the roof structure and rainwater goods, the church has been able to embark on a second phase of restoration thanks to funding from English Heritage, the National Churches Trust, Leeds Church Extension Society and their own Diocesan Building Fund.

The project

The latest works took 7 months to complete and focused on concrete repairs to the string courses and other features around the elevations, the re-tiling of the Lady Chapel roof, the realignment of the parapet gutters using stainless steel and asphalt and the conservation of leaded glazing to the east apse.

Major restorative work has also been carried out on the leaded glazing to the north and south aisles and transepts in a new arrangement incorporating the existing yellow glass and new hand made clear glass. The removal of the existing glazing and replacement with new glass has hugely improved the internal light at the church, transforming it into a much brighter space.

The reaction

Andrew Wiles of architects Wiles and Maguire said: “the team at Maysand delivered an excellent conservation outcome for this very under appreciated piece of 1930s heritage.

“With such large areas of brickwork being only partially pointed the new work could have stood out terribly but great attention was taken to unifying the colour and texture of the mixes used with the original. The same praise for their attention to detail can also be extended to their concrete repairs team.”