Page 2, 22nd November 1957

22nd November 1957
Page 2
Page 2, 22nd November 1957 — Churches like Stations

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Organisations: Catholic Church
People: McCrone


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Churches like Stations

STR,-Congratulations to Mr. McCrone on refusing to be brow-beaten by sneering theorists. He may reflect that in 100 years' time (if by then infallible " experts " have not destroyed us all), architects will then be say ing some nasty things-not about Mr. McCrone but about the architects of today. It is ever so, the intellectual grinds his academic and financial axes by decrying his counterparts of the previous generation, while claiming infallibility for himself. Sweeping generalisations are made and required to he accepted as dogma. Latterly the butt of ouf superior contemporaries has been the Gothic Revival in general. Those who know the beautiful work of Pearson at St. Augustine's, Kilburn. and elsewhere understand what dishonest rubbish such generalisa tions are. Some of us who are grateful for pre-war memories of prayerful hours spent in the quiet serenity of St. George's Cathedral, Southwark. are excited at the pros pect of its restoration. I suggest that if some architects had had their way and the Cathedral had been re-designed in the style of Continental modernists, the enthusiasm of most would be changed to indifference. Surely the design and atmosphere of a church should be such as will aid the teeming thousands of ordinary men and women who make up the Catholic Church to pray and adore. Buildings which leave one wondering whether one is on one's head or one's heels do not fulfil this function and are merely the toys of pseudo-intellectuals. What gleeful derision has been hurled at St. Pancras Station because. while being a railway station it looks like a church The scoffers then proceed to erect churches which look like railway stations, but one musn't criticise them everywhere and in everything one is exhorted to regard the contemporary expert as infallible. It is had form to refer to the Pilo down man and now we have Windscale which only escaped being a national calamity by the Grace of God. There are (fortunately for democracy) still people capable of independent thought and unaffected by ephemeral fads and fashions and I am glad Mr. McCrone has the courage of his convictions.

A. F. Brookhouse. 15, Mount Pleasant Lane, Bricket Wood, Nr. Watford. Herts.

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