Wednesday, 10 February 2021

GOD’S ARCHITECT*

Light turns the stone and brickwork to Gold

Our Lady of Peace in the late winter sun.


Henry Bingham Towner (1909–1997) had set his heart and mind to becoming a priest. This never happened, why was not recorded. Instead he became an architect, opening his own practice in 1938 in Uckfield.


Towner is best known for designing churches in the south of England. One of Towner’s treasures is The Church of Our Lady of Peace situated is just East of Burnham village centre, blessed and opened in 1958.


When I visited it was a bright sunny afternoon although in December the promise of dusk was never far away. The honey-coloured brick and stone glowed in the light and the surrounding area was peaceful.


The story behind this church is wonderfully narrated on the website 

TAKING STOCK: Catholic Churches of England Wales. It opens with lovely summation:


'The church is in a stripped version of the loosely Basilican round-arched style so popular for Catholic churches in the interwar and early post- War years, although unusually with some Tudoresque touches. The interior has good original furnishings.  https://taking-stock.org.uk


TOWNER’S STORY https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Bingham_Towner


LINK  for the full history :https://taking-stock.org.uk/building/burnham-our-lady-of-peace/


LINK for church services https://ourladyofpeacerc.org/our-churches/#olop


*The epithet God’ Architect was given both to Augustus Pugin and Antonio Gaudi. Its award to Towner is in  the writer gift.

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim