Friday, May 31, 2013

A Work in Progress: the Chapel

In the two pictures that follow you can see our current project which is to re-decorate the Chapel. When we arrived it smelled as if a cat had died under the floorboards but thanks to fresh air, Henry the hoover and good old-fashioned muscle, that is no longer a problem. Your generosity has helped us buy simple new vestments in the four liturgical colours and I am very grateful to Tad Gareth Jones, the Catholic Chaplain at Cardiff university who gave me a new altar. We have modified it a little by making a plinth to lift it higher and extending the mensa so that its proportions are better for the sanctuary. This was done by Greg, another of our residents who has also just been accepted by the diocese. 

The Chapel is nicely proportioned although the apse is a latter addition and, sadly, obscures two stained glass windows. It also creates a strange echo when celebrating Mass.

Unfortunately, as you can see from this photograph the curve of the apse doesn't match that of the ceiling. The error is accentuated by the shiny red paint on the walls facing the congregation. To reduce the impact our plan is to paint the upper part of the apse and the red walls in the same neutral colour, a soft yellow. The lower part of the apse will be painted with a series of simple panels. The one behind the tabernacle will be an Oxford Blue which will have the effect of making the tabernacle really stand out whilst not detracting from the altar. The four side panels will be a rich yellow. Where the panels meet the upper part of the apse there will be an inscription - yet to be decided upon - in gold lettering.
Eventually the sanctuary carpet will come up and the parquet floor will be restored. The rest of the chapel will be painted in a very light yellow hint and the ceiling will be a skyish blue.

As you can see Greg has started the work and in August there will be a group of volunteers living here to complete it.

The whole chapel will be restored for little more than the cost of materials which is fantastic. If anyone wishes to donate to the restoration work please get in touch with me - all donations can be Gift Aided if you pay UK tax. We also need a new ambo to replace the old one which is very unstable and was knocked over a few weeks ago by a child who toddled up to it. Luckily his parents were there to rescue him and he wasn't injured! So if you know of a dignified ambo or lectern for the proclamation of the Word please let me know.


Et Expecto said...

I think that the wall above the sanctuary arch actually provides an opportunity for an artistic initiative. Being what geometers call a "lune" shape, it is ideal for a doom painting, such as was found in most pre-reformation churches.

Fr Stephen said...

Et Expecto
I'm always open to ideas - and expertise...