1967 – St. Bernadette’s Church, Knockbreda, Belfast

Architect: Brian Gregory



A distinctive church with a fan shaped plan and huge wall of “dalle de verre” glass. Designed by Brian Gregory, and opened in 1967. In The Irish News at that time Gregory describes it as a very plain building, simple in design, in line with the general development of ecclesiastical architecture in Ireland “both by reason of its simplicity and the use of modern materials, and also its alliance with contemporary artists who brought a fresh idea to old themes”.

Inside, the church’s fan-shaped structure is large enough to accommodate around one thousand people, all of whom are within 60ft of the altar and have a clear view of it. The stained glass windows in concrete panels were designed by Fr. Charles Norris OSB and manufactured by him and his Benedictine colleagues from Buckfast Abbey. They reflect the Alpha and Omega in a range of vibrant colours. The church also features a 9-foot Crucifixion sculpture by Dame Elisabeth Frink.