The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

St Augustine, Manchester Photo © C20 Society

40 Buildings Saved

29. St Augustine, Manchester

Status: Listed Grade II
Architect: Desmond Williams and Associates
Owners: Diocese of Salford
Location: Lower Ormond Street, Manchester


This church, with its balanced mix of architectural design and art, was designed by the Catholic practice Desmond Williams and Associates for the Diocese of Salford, with structural engineering by Ove Arup  (1967-8).  Made to house a large congregation of 500, it was designed so that the priest could face forward with the choir as part of the congregation, consistent with the Sacred Congregation of Rites that followed the Second Vatican Council.  In dark brown brick with piers supporting steel Verindeel trusses, a sculpture by Robert Brumby – one of several in the church – is the glory of the interior, while the church’s simple rectangular elevation faces Grosvenor Square. The church replaced an earlier St Augustine’s, destroyed in WWII. Funding from the War Damage Commission had to be used against a deadline, helping the church to commission its plentiful artworks.


The C20 Society’s dynamic NW group was concerned that fine C20 buildings in Manchester had been overlooked for listing.


After conducting its own survey the church was put up for listing.


St Augustine was listed in 2007 at Grade II.

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