View of west end of St David’s. A most unsuitable (unaesthetic) place for a font. Some of the items I had started to ‘white-out’ in preparation for analysing the functional problems of this area. It has become an ecclesiastical slum and from my preliminary thinking I can only conclude that some drastic re-thinking is going to be essential if an appropriate ambience is to be achieved.
While I had done my best to coordinate the various items in the sanctuary I was not consulted about the accretion of various items at the west end of the church which served as a narthex in effect, now containing an organ, some radio equipment, loose tables with books, large loudspeaker boxes and some large light fittings – all of which looked a mess.
It is to Bishop Neville’s and Bill Thorne’s credit that they at least recognised an aesthetic mess and asked me for advice. I had a scheme ready for discussion when Neville unfortunately died in 2010 and since then there has been no request for advice.
While the accoutrements at the sanctuary end are all very well coordinated, the west end of the church is less organised, showing a complete lack of aesthetic judgement in the selection and placing of technical equipment such as the organ, large loudspeaker boxes etc which just clutter the area like a jumble sale – showing that the collective visual education of the parishioners and the clergy was lacking in their school years.
(I and others tried to change this weakness in the middle of the 20thC but obviously our message did not penetrate the heavy masonry around the Department of Education…see section on Social design).