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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Modern art and City churches

The statue of St Michael commemorating the fallen of World War I at St Michael Cornhill is a bronze from 1920 by Richard Reginald Goulden. A winged and helmeted Christian angel brandishing a flaming sword, stands on a stone which bears the inscription. To the left two wild cats prowl; to the right, four cherubic children cluster at the angelic feet.

During the Great War, 1914 - 1919, the names were recorded on this site of 2130 men who from offices in the parishes of this united benefice volunteered to serve their country in the Navy and Army. Of these it is known that at least 170 gave their lives for the freedom of the world.

In WW1 Goulden served with the Royal Engineers in France. Other London works by Goulden include: a war memorial at St John, Hackney, the Hornsey County School War Memorial now housed in the Crouch End Town Hall, the St Christopher statue on the war memorial at the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, and a memorial in Kensal Green cemetery to Thomas Power O'Connor.

The memorial window in the narthex of St Andrew by the Wardrobe is dedicated to Sir Ivor Bulmer Thomas, who masterminded the reconstruction of the church after the war. A detailed etching of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe can be seen in the window.

An energetic Renaissance man – former spy, athlete and leader writer for The Times, Labour MP for Keighley and devout Christian – Ivor Bulmer-Thomas (1905–93) was determined to make a difference and gathered together his closest allies and influential friends to form a new charity, the Friends of Friendless Churches, inaugurated on 3 July 1957 in Committee Room 13 of the House of Commons. The architect Harry Goodhart-Rendel, the philanthropist Samuel Gurney, the politician Roy Jenkins, Lady Mander, the artist John Piper, the banker and politician John Smith, and the architectural historian John Summerson were all members of the first Executive Committee. John Betjeman was elected Honorary Editor, Lawrence Jones Honorary Secretary, and the architect Sir Albert Richardson a Vice President.

This window was engraved by Frank Grenier F.G.E. who has been engraving glass for over 20 years. He studied under Simon Whistler and has held exhibitions in London, Hong Kong, Maastricht, Leerdam, Oxford and Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers. He engraves with tungsten points and diamond burrs. His work ranges from goblets to church windows, and includes clear and coloured glass.


Harold Darke - Sanctus.

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