This semi rural town is home to the parish of St Teresa (de Lisieux of course) where GKC attended Mass on High Days and Holy Days.
|GKC's gift to the parish of St Teresa|
It is to this church that he donated a rather beautiful statue of Our Lady and the Christ Child and I have long wished to visit to gain first hand knowledge.
The church is most beautiful in a sort of 1920s (?) style but has had a carbuncle of a porch (foyer, really) added fairly recently.
This is all plate glass and swing doors and it jars greatly with the rest of the architecture.
A display signifying Easter (three twig crosses on a pebble and grass Calvary) commands the left hand side, naturally, while, on the right is a pre Reformation font originating from Buckfast Abbey.
What a joy to dip one's fingers into a font that may well have received the hands of More and Fisher and countless other saints.
|Redundant after 800 years of use|
But that joy is short lived as the font is bone dry.
Inside the church a large holy water stoup made of what appears to be rosewood formica and stainless steel, blocks the aisle.
Other than that, I guess the church is pretty much as the great man would have left it (apart from the NO altar main stage.
How incorrect that faux altar looks when you peer to one side and view the original against the wall. Really very hard to comprehend.
It is rather like having a grand auditorium with a slick but trashy modern one set in front of the old.
The statue of Our Lady is, indeed, very fine but why, oh why, must so many priests set statues several yards above the head of the people?
It is hard indeed to appreciate the full beauty of the image when all you have is a worm's eye view.
Now, I have not checked my facts here but the Stations of the Cross deserve a mention on the plus side.
|The work of Eric Gill? |
No way of telling
If I am not mistaken they are the work of sculptor and artist, Eric Gill.
Each of the stations are carved in bas relief from stone and are exquisite in their simple style.
It is a great shame that the parish website carries no information regarding the statue or other works of art present in the church. Or, indeed, of its past illustrious parishioner
It is almost as if the PP is ashamed of his Catholic heritage.
Needless to say, there is zero evidence that the EF Mass is celebrated here or, that it even exists.
Why is it that so many of our churches feature displays that would look more at home in year one of Playschool than on church property?
The clergy must think that we are a simple old bunch who will accept whatever pap they push in our direction.
Sadly, I think that they may be right.
|A fine altar and sanctuary - obscured by the modern|