The Twentieth Century Society

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The Churches of F. X. Velarde

Presented by: Dominic Wilkinson, Principal Lecturer in Architecture Liverpool John Moores University

The buildings of F. X. Velarde represented what Nicolas Pevsner once described as “epoch-making” examples of English church architecture, briefly during the 1930’s this looked like a new direction, British Expressionism. In this lecture Dominic Wilkinson  examines these together with Velarde’s less well known and more personal post-war churches, many of which are published for the first time in the C20 Architects series book by Wilkinson and Andrew Crompton.

Wilkinson examines the life and work of F X Velarde, starting with his 1930s expressionist churches, influenced by travels in Germany in 1928 accompanied by Charles Reilly. The lesser known post-war churches completed for the Dioceses’ of Liverpool and Shrewsbury, including: St Teresa’s, Upholland, English Martyr’s, Wallasey, and the thanksgiving Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Blackpool. The talk concludes with Velarde’s later works in London, notably St Luke’s, Pinner and the nearby diminutive chapel for The Grail Society, which is not normally accessible to the public. All these represent a very personal exploration by an architect who quietly continued producing carefully crafted and highly idiosyncratic churches, which are now, 60 years after his death being rediscovered.

You can purchase Dominic Wilkinson and Andrew Crompton’s book on F. X. Velarde in our C20 Architect’s series here.