The Church is designed in the 13th-century style, and consists of a chancel, nave of three bays, north-east tower, the ground stage of which is used as a vestry, north aisle, an unusually wide south aisle, a south chapel, a shallow south transept, and a north-west porch; the tower is surmounted by an octagonal shingled spire. All the fittings in the church are modern. There is a large prayer-book of 1770 which originally belonged to the Prince Regent (afterwards George IV) and was finally bequeathed to this church.
The original ecclesiastical parish was formed on October 24th 1851 out of the parishes of Warfield and Winkfield.
In the celebrated Murray’s Architectural Guide of 1949, Sir John Betjeman described Bracknell as the “dullest town in Berkshire”. It has been entirely rebuilt since that time, and continues to evolve. He mentioned only one building of note, Holy Trinity Church which he described as “a thin and large Decorated-style church by Coe and Godwin”, the architectural practice responsible for several famous buildings including Dundee Royal Infirmary and the Exhibition Centre at Olympia. Holy Trinity is equally distinct today, being one of the few listed buildings in Bracknell and standing on the south side of the town centre which is now undergoing regeneration.
The Church was consecrated in 1851, and then consisted of a nave and chancel with a transept incorporating a tower and a tall slender spire. Internally the roof was open with carved oak beams. But in the late 1880’s the building was already requiring maintenance which led to the then vicar, the Rev. Herbert Barnett, raising funds for a full restoration, including the addition of a porch, a priest’s vestry and a new chancel aisle. The chancel and aisle were added at a cost of £1,515; a new organ and chancel seats of oak were added in 1894. This is approximately the form it stands in today. The organ console used to occupy space in the tower, which now provides space at ground floor for the choir vestry. Part of the south chancel aisle then became the Lady Chapel. The spire above the tower is clad in cedar shingles but the main roof slopes are covered in slate. The exterior of the building is constructed of dressed sandstone facings infilled with random knapped flint.
Over the years the original windows have gradually been replaced with stained glass. Probably the most striking is the triple lancet east windows depicting the crucifixion with a memorial rose window above. A similar arrangement, but with twin lancets is in the Lady Chapel and shows the resurrection. There is an attractive window in the south transept depicting Saint Birinus who brought Christianity to this area in the seventh century.
There are some excellent pictures of the church here.
The graveyard has been closed for a considerable time and has many gravestones of interest, notably that of a former vicar Charles Pratt and local dignitary Henry Vincent. In the 1970’s, road realignment led to the boundary of the churchyard being marginally altered and the lych-gate moved to its present position.
The slate roofs had deteriorated with age, and in 2010 a grant for an initial phase of roof renewal was given by English Heritage. Matching funding was also granted by various church bodies and other trusts with fundraising by the congregation, including sponsoring slates. This was similar to the scheme carried out when the shingles were renewed on the spire in the 1970’s. For the recent work the London architects Caroe & Partners were appointed, a contract tendered for and let to Universal Stone Limited. The project for the renewal of roofs, stone gutters to the South Aisle and Lady Chapel roofs, including stonework repairs to the Porch, came in substantially under the original budget of £200,000. See the Facebook page for pictures.
Inevitably with a Victorian church and a 1970’s style hall there is always work required to the fabric but the church has excellent maintenance procedures in place. However, sometime in the future a second and possibly third phase of roof renewal will be required.