The Parish of St Thomas More is situated in the South West of Coventry and serves the districts of Cheylesmore, Styvechale, Finham and Green Lane as well as the villages of Baginton and Stoneleigh. The parish was set up in 1943 and the first church building put up three years later. In 1968 the current church was completed, very much in the style of its day with a main church of a single space, a gallery, a high ceiling and a side chapel. There are about 2, 500 people in the parish. On average we have approx 40 baptisms a year, 70 confirmations , 10 Marriages and 40 funerals each year. The parish has its own primary school with a two form entry housed in a very new building that replaced the original 1960s construction. You will find the building described in the newly published edition of Warwickshire in the Buildings of England series, edited by Chris Pickford and the late Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.
In the summer of 2020, during the pandemic, St Thomas More and St Joseph the Worker, Canley, were made partner parishes – the diocese asked the parish priest of St Thomas More to become the parish priest of St Joseph’s too. The drawing together of the two parishes and establishing close links has been delayed and made more difficult by the pandemic.
Some Facts and Figures about the Church Building The driving force and inspiration was provided by Father Philip Cleary, the second parish priest. The Architect was Mr. Norman of Saunders & Son and the main contractors were Garlicks Ltd. The foundation stone for the Church of St. Thomas More was laid on October 27th 1966. 285,000 bricks were used to build the walls. There is seating for 841 people – 578 in the main body of the church, 179 in the gallery, 84 in the side chapel. 130,000 tiles were used on the floor. Over 9000 square feet of plywood were used to make up the ceiling – which is made up of inverted pyramids to break up the sounds and prevent echo. The font was designed by Malcolm Pollard, a parishioner. The main stained glass windows in the sanctuary depicting St Thomas More and his life were designed by Patrick Pollen, a noted glass artist, and made of French antique glass.