home I index I latest I glossary I introductions I e-mail I about this site
St Michael and All Souls chapel, Little Walsingham
the captions by hovering over the images, and click on them to
see them enlarged.
Michael and All Souls chapel, Little Walsingham
As the Anglican church rediscovered its Catholic roots in the exciting middle decades of the 19th century, there were those who sought to restore to life this aspect of pre-Reformation worship, which had been at the heart of much private devotion in the late medieval period. Indeed, it had been the need to ensure that prayers were said for the dead which had led to the renewal and rebuilding of many East Anglian churches in the 15th century, as wills and bequests gave money in return for those prayers.
A guild chapel had been the intention from the start, but the activities of the guild were deeply frowned upon by the Church of England, and its ideas have only ever been heard on the fringes of Anglicanism. A chapel was maintained at St Stephen, Gloucester Road in London for many years, but it was not until 1965 that this pretty chapel found its home at Walsingham, the heartland of Anglo-catholicism. The octagonal building has echoes of the Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool, the roof rising to a crown of light, the lantern at the apex of the roof. A sculpture of St Michael by John Hayward, also responsible for the font cover in the parish church, is situated at one end, a crucifix at the other.
The inside of the church is pleasingly open, with a sanctuary flanked by glass walls at the far end. The lantern above is superb, and another band of coloured glass creates a dramatic effect below the roof line. The space is organised for a college of Priests, their seats around the outside. The Guild prays for its members, but also for the souls of all the Anglican dead.
Simon Knott, September 2007
Amazon commission helps cover the running costs of this site.
home I index I latest I introductions I e-mail I about
this site I glossary
Norwich I ruined churches I desktop backgrounds I round tower churches
links I small print I www.simonknott.co.uk I www.suffolkchurches.co.uk