SUPPLEMENT ON pages 5, 6 and 7 of this issue, we carry a review of Church architecture and furnishings today,
as well as articles by experts on various aspects of Church building, Church furnishings and Church music.
In a special message to the CATHOLIC HERALD On this occasion Bishop Beck of Satford writes: IN spite of the millions of pounds which the Catholic community has spent on building schools in the post-war years, we have also built a surprisingly large number of new churches. Perhaps the churches have not been as lavish as they might have been if we had not been obliged to foot the heavy schoolbuilding bill. This is not a bad thing, however. it has obliged us to consider value for money in our l'hurch building and many of the results have been both pleasing and striking.
Architects are faced with a challenge when asked to design a contemporary church. Such a building should proclaim its purpose by its very style. It should be seen to be a house of God and a place of worship. At the same time it should be contemporary in character, for the church is the church of the present day and not a survival from the middle ages or the nineteenth century.
Modern methods of construction offer great opportunities to the architect imaginative enough to use them. Great distances can be spanned and great spaces enclosed without the interruption of pillars or piers. Perhaps these forms of construction are still dictating the architectural character of our churches. I do not think we have yet found a contemporary ecclesiastical style.
The special supplement published with this number of the CATHOLIC HERAI D will help many of us to know more of what is being done and of the ideas and ideals of architects who are being commissioned to build an ever growing number of Catholic churches through. out the country.
GEORGE ANDREW BECK, Bishop of Salford.