Evening visit to St John the Divine, Richmond
Thursday 6 July — Turn up or book
6.30pm to 8pm. An evening visit led by Paul Velluet and Peter Cormack.
St John the Divine has been described as "the most important Arts & Crafts Church in London after Holy Trinity Sloane Street". It is a ‘Commissioners’ Church of 1829 with substantial additions of chancel and Lady Chapel by Arthur Grove (a member of JD Sedding's workshop) in 1905-12. The church features a significant collection of Arts and Crafts furnishings by leading designer/craftsmen working with Grove, including Henry Wilson, Ernest Gimson, William Bainbridge Reynolds. MacDonald (‘Max’) Gill, Christopher Whall, Mabel Esplin and the painters, Nathaniel Westlake and Dorothy Smirke; there is also notable work by AG Walker, Richard Garbe and Eric Gill. (A recent addition to the Arts & Crafts furnishings is a metalwork lectern of unusual design by John EC Carr, 1898.) Howell & Howell (formerly Howell & Bellion) have restored the Lady Chapel reredos (a gilded structure with statues of saints by Max Gill and a painting by Dorothy Smirke), and the metalwork screen and gates by Bainbridge Reynolds, reinstating a gilded niche and statue of Our Lady to their original position above these gates. They will next undertake the restoration of the monumental painted triptych above the High Altar, by Westlake (who also painted the chancel ceiling). Other future projects include: the conservation of vestments and altar frontals, a selection of which will be on display, including the work of St John’s embroidery school of the early 20th century; the restoration of the ten tall stained glass nave windows, impressive examples of slab glass by Arthur Grove; repair and regilding of the chancel ‘golden gates’ and the restoration of the historic Beale & Thynne organ of 1896. An informal event, with brief talks on the building history (by Paul Velluet), furnishings, stained glass (by Peter Cormack) and restoration projects, a chance to look round the Church (photos, etc. will be displayed and the restorers will be present to answer questions). There will be an opportunity to see the former St John’s Hall (by Arthur Grove, in Church Road with its Art Nouveau carved stone doorway and to hear the organ. Wine and light refreshments. Meet at St John the Divine, Kew Road, Richmond TW9 2NA. Turn right outside Richmond Station. The Church is 100 yards along on the corner of Kew Road and Church Road. For St John’s Hall (now Studios) turn right along Church Road to the East end of the Church; the Hall is opposite. For the visit to the former St John’s Hall, meet at 6pm outside the hall in Church Road, Richmond. £16.
Event code: 1719