The calendar on my bedroom door - the 2008 SSPX calendar with glamorous pictures of ecclesiastical architecture - showed us, in September, the Chapel of the Anglican Sisterhood of S Peter in Woking; built by J L and F L Pearson. Now, in October, we have an even more splendid former Anglican convent chapel, at Bristol, where the architect was G F Bodley. Each is now a centre for the mission of the SSPX. How admirable that there is someone to take over these places and continue in them the style of liturgy for which they were designed and built; there can belittle doubt that they would otherwise, even if listed, have suffered a dire fate. I know a former convent in Sussex jampacked full of superb glass by Harry Clarke where, of course, the glass is preseved but in a most unfortunate context.
You've never heard of the great Irish maker of stained glass, Harry Clarke? Shame on you. His glass is not in the least like that of Sir Ninian Comper except in that each of them did learned glass with several sermons in each pane. And that the glass of each of them is, at its best, absolutely stunning to look at.
11 October 2008
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