Page 4, 7th April 1995

7th April 1995
Page 4
Page 4, 7th April 1995 — A supporter of Austin Winkley writes

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A supporter of Austin Winkley writes


Ursula Nash (Catholic Herald, 17 March 1995) has a short memory.

Our church at Wallington, designed by Austin Winkley, followed an exemplary process of consultation with parishioners.

It manifests a very enlightened assessment of liturgical needs an assessment which has proved to have anticipated subsequent developments in worship, particularly for worshippers committed to the guidelines for liturgy which arose from Vatican II.

One unusual aspect of the brief requested by the parish priest, and acclaimed by many others, was a plan which leads worshippers to occupy front seats in the church rather than the back rows.

In this it succeeded, but now with the new entrance to the rear, that achievement has been weakened the price being the provision of an expensive and unnecessary porch and one centre aisle "for brides" rather than the two previous ones.

The original ambitious scheme was for a narthex to replace the temporary glazed porch, linking the new church to the old which now has two floors serving other needs in the parish.

On matters of fact, the incorrectly described "concrete" altar was again part of the parish brief reusing natural stone from the altar of the original church, a meaningful continuity with our heritage.

Sir Nicholas Pevsner in his didactic series on the Building of England, describes our church as "forceful and ingeniously planned " and causing RC church design form 1970 "to claim attention".

This building is a good church for those who see it as "domus Ecclesia", a house for the People of God. It is also a "domus Dei" a house of God.

Brendan Schmack Surrey

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