History of St Laurence, Petersfield
The church is a striking red brick building in an Italianate style. The architect, John Kelly, designed a number of Catholic churches around the end of the nineteenth century, including the Grade II* St Patrick, Soho Square, London.
The church and presbytery were commissioned in 1890-91 by Laurence Trent Cave of Ditcham Park, a prominent local Catholic landowner. A few years after it opened, the apse and transepts were added in order to accommodate the tomb of the founder, who died in 1903.
The church is a cruciform design in an Italian style with a nave, transepts, chancel and two side chapels. It has a prominent octagonal copper dome surmounted by a lantern. The exterior is red brick with stone dressings. The interior is well lit from clear upper storey windows. The sanctuary is entered through ornamental gates set in a marble balustrade, and the altar is marble faced. The marble font stands in the chapel to the left of the main altar. The pulpit and confessional were made by Edward Carter Knight in 1902 and were the gift of Mrs Cave.
History of St Agnes, Liss
The church is dedicated to St. Agnes (Virgin and Martyr). Before the present church was built a flourishing Mass centre had become established in a private chapel attached to ‘Leacroft’, a local house owned by a Mrs Eleanor Jackson.
She later donated a small plot of land which was sold and the sum invested and the proceeds were used to purchase the present site at Hillbrow. A Colt building was chosen and this prefabricated structure was completed and opened in 1966. The first Mass was said there on Sunday June 5th 1966 and it was blessed in November of that year by Bishop Warlock.
As the chapel at Leacroft had been dedicated to St. Agnes, the same saint was chosen for the new church.