The Church of England Record Centre has opened an archive of almost 1000 files on post-war church architecture, providing an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the construction of ecclesiastical buildings in 20th century England.
Faced with a need for building projects to reflect demographic change and respond to the destruction of the Second World War, in the late 1950s, the Church Commissioners created a record of new Anglican churches and church halls constructed after 1946, which they maintained into the 1970s. Compiled initially to provide a pool of inspiration and knowledge for future building projects, the resulting series of files on almost 1000 churches includes architectural plans, photographs and information on the cost, materials, architects and builders.
Although it is apparent that the Commissioners never achieved their aim of a complete record of all new construction, the archive nevertheless offers researchers an opportunity to explore a wide range of architectural styles, techniques and regional variations. The records cover a period when architecture was feeling the effect of restrictions on building materials as well the impact of new thinking on the interaction between church building and function, as vocalised by the Liturgical Movement.
The new catalogue for the archive can be found by searching the online catalogue for ‘CC/Arch’, http://archives.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/calmview/