Church of Our Lady and St Vincent

Date Complete 2005
Location UK England
Client The Westminster RC Diocese Trust
Architect Francis Weal and Partners

Project Summary

The Church of Our Lady and St Vincent de Paul is an award winning Catholic Church in Potters Bar.
It is the first new build antiphonal Roman Catholic Church in England. Mass is held using the length of the Church, with the congregation seated in pews either side.
This makes a large space feel surprisingly intimate as nobody is seated more than five rows from the Priest.
The elliptical building is made from brickwork with an inner lining of blockwork and is finished with timber decking inside.

Services Provided

Sandy Brown was asked to review the internal acoustics of the main church and the parish room, paying particular attention to:

  • acoustics for choral music
  • acoustics for speech
  • control of reverberation.

Special Acoustic Features

Antiphonal music is music performed by two semi-independent choirs in interaction, often singing alternate musical phrases. This was an important consideration in the selection of finishes and surface treatment to control reverberation and design of internal finishes.
An acoustic model of the space was created and used to provide acoustic simulations that were used to simulate the how the space would sound. The acoustic model was used to determine measures of acoustic quality throughout the space.

Interior of Our Lady and St Vincent Church.