Monifieth Parish Church




ARCHITECTURE: Public Building


Lee Boyd


Monifieth Parish Church


Monifieth Parish Church is a union of 3No congregations who decided in 2008 to set aside their respective traditional church buildings to construct a new church for the 21st Century.

Lee Boyd won a limited competition to help the congregation imagine and realise a new home for the Church in 2013 and, following an initial appraisal and consultations, a proposal for a bold modern church on the high street at the heart of the local community was agreed as the best way forward.

The town centre location of the new building was vital in the understanding of what role the church should have in the coming years. Whilst the design intent was always to create an impressive place of worship, a spiritual home for the congregation, the building and its spaces were also to feel inclusive, flexible and very accessible to the people of Monifieth. The design evolved with the sanctuary right on the street with an effective glazed ‘shop window’ giving direct visual access to the interior for passers-by and reinforcing to those within their connection to everyday community life.

This breaking down of the barriers between church and community is not new, but is increasingly vital to ensure both the survival of church buildings and the sustainability of healthy congregations. These ideas were always at the heart of the brief, as was the notion that the new building should not be overtly religious in both the internal and external design languages and should be as comfortable accommodating a large church service as a community event.

The church combines a modest civic presence with a self confidence that ensures its presence as a new landmark in Monifieth. The building hugs the street front following an adjacent ground floor plinth line, but rises above this with the more distinct volume of the sanctuary. The interiors, controlled with a consistent design language and use of natural materials, are flooded with daylight and are imbued with an attention to detail, not always possible in new community buildings.

The programme for the project was to provide a flexible worship space for up to 250 persons, a main hall that can be subdivided into smaller meeting spaces, a generous foyer to welcome large numbers of people and ancillary spaces such as offices, plenteous storage, a large kitchen and toilets.

The building construction commenced on site in early 2018 and was completed in September 2019.

Photography by Keith Hunter of Keith Hunter Photography