OOD examples of modern / kichurch architecture can be 0 found in almost every Christian 0' country now, but cathedrals do / not grow on any hush. It seems 0'. strange therefore that England,
whose post-war church build% ing is neither prolific nor inter
esting should be the first to design two conspicuously arresting cathedrals an Anglican one at Coventry and a Catholic
e one at Liverpool.
0 Coventry is not modern, as
/St. John's. Minnesota, or the g chapel at Ronchamp is modern. "; Sir Basil himself has said that
it•is not a revolutionary build ing. "Just four walls and a roof,
that's all." Its influences are 0 those from tradition York, 0 Gloucester and Albi. It was a/ conceived not as a unit on its own but as a continuation in e .0' space of the Gothic ruins with 5, which it stands now in complete
harmony. Outside, Coventry Cathedral
looks more like a fortress than a church, and the chapel of Unity beside it seems spikey and armoured, too, fur attack. But inside the contemplative takes over from the knight. Here the architect, having provided the setting, hands over his beautiful sleeping space to the artists who wake it up and fill it with light and song. This has been done without any loss of unity.
Windows (The Royal College) symbolic of the seven ages of man, throw their colours at all times of day, on the black marble floor. The tapestry of Christ in Glory (Graham Sutherland) dominates the nave. St. Michael in bronze (Epstein) guards the entrance and from every position in the building all eyes are drawn to the altar, the central focus for the worship of God.