Thursday, 15 May 2014


Whilst I was away at Belmont Abbey (see previous post) work began on St Joseph's Church. 
As I came to look at the church on my return I was reminded of Sir John Betjeman's poem about church restoration.
The Church's Restoration
In eighteen-eighty-three
Has left for contemplation
Not what there used to be.
How well the ancient woodwork
Looks round the Rect'ry hall,
Memorial of the good work
Of him who plann'd it all.
He who took down the pew-ends
And sold them anywhere
But kindly spared a few ends
Work'd up into a chair.
O worthy persecution
Of dust! O hue divine!
O cheerful substitution,
Thou varnish'd pitch-pine!
Church furnishing! Church furnishing!
Sing art and crafty praise!
He gave the brass for burnishing
He gave the thick red baize,
He gave the new addition,
Pull'd down the dull old aisle,
To pave the sweet transition
He gave th' encaustic tile.
Of marble brown and vein'd
He did the pulpit make;
He order'd windows stain'd
Light red and crimson lake.
Sing on, with hymns uproarious,
Ye humble and aloof,
Look up! and oh how glorious
He has restored the roof!

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