Page 2, 31st December 1954

31st December 1954
Page 2
Page 2, 31st December 1954 — A Visit to Poplar
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Organisations: Catholic Church
Locations: London

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A Visit to Poplar

SIg,----There has been a considerable correspondence about new churches. I venture to add to it. The east end of London is not a fashion abl e qua rter. Consequently few non-residents have seen the new Catholic church at Lansbury, part of Poplar. It caught my eye driving down the East India Dock Road. I went in and I was delighted. The thought of this new church was pleasant to me for days. The architect is Adrian Gilbert Scott He has. with great brilliance. balanced the claims of modernity with association and worship. The plan is a short aislcless nave with an immense transept dominated by. a lantern reaching, domelike, to an imposing height. It is not Gothic although it conveys the feeling of a Gothic church. The natural lighting is provided by immense triple windows that convey, again, a perpendicular feeling hut they are as modern as a motor-car. The stained glass is very good indeed-brilliant figures on a clear ground.

The pulpit is integrated into a fine wide sanctuary-it suggests the rood of our ancient churches, but it is boldly modern. Devotional requirements, such as the Stations of the Cross, are integrated into the wall surfaces and decoration.

Confessionals are part of the xtructure-not wooden loose boxes cluttering up the aisles. A member of the clergy, in response to my spoken hope that the church would not be ruined by pious inanities. said the architect, insisted on being consulted on the smallest detail. I looked pointedly at a white jimcrack stand for an "art pot" on which stood a box for "petitions."

hope the new estate and satellite town clergy will go with many others to see Mr. Scott's work at Poplar. His vigorous and original mind provides a solution to those who like churches to be "churchy" and those of us who look for vigour and originality of ideas in modern Catholic art.

John




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