Restoration

Patrons: Joseph Fiennes, John Gilhooly, Patsy Kensit, Frank Skinner, Ann Widdecombe

“In the world we live in faith, and a still and holy place to nurture it, has never been more important.” – Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, writer of “Downton Abbey”, speaking of Corpus Christi.

The campaign for the restoration of Corpus Christi Maiden Lane began in 2011. In addition to significant repair work to the building, we aim to restore the interior elements of the church to reflect its position as an oasis of calm, peace and prayer in the very heart of London. If you would like to make a gift towards this work, please click here. Visitors from the States might be pleased to know that any donations are tax deductible.

The Restoration of Corpus Christi

The project is for the complete restoration and enhancement of this historic church. Corpus Christi was opened in 1874 to designs by F H Pownall. After a long period of neglect, exacerbated by considerable pollution, repeated clumsy attempts to clean the internal fabric by sandblasting were made into in the 1950s and 60s, the interior walls and stonework were fully painted out with artex and other modern paints in the 1970s. The original tiled floors have all been lost and no records exist. We do not believe, on stylistic grounds, and considering Pownell’s other work, that the present oak block is original. The nave was relaid a long time ago on with herringbone oak block which has begun to lift and been worn down in places to the level of the tongues; it is quite possible that the original floor had tiling in the aisles, but of this there is no record. The sanctuary has a bland and inappropriate Italian beige marble floor installed in the 1960s or 70s. The area at the back of the church has a floor covered with Amtico plastic to imitate woodblock.

The work that is presently being carried out is to restore the Narthex and the Sacred Heart chapel.

The Narthex

In the Narthex we are stripping of all brick and stonework of paint and render, repainting of timber roof, following investigation of original colour. There will be new glazed and engraved doors to street near the statue of St Philomena. This will enable the interior of the church to be visible all day long. We shall lay new clay geometric floor tiles, produced in replica of designs use by Pownell in his other churches of the period. The font is to be relocated at the west end of the name isle, making it more visible. The shrine and statue of St Patrick are to be cleaned and whole area re-lit with new spot lighting.

The Sacred Heart Chapel

In the Sacred Heart chapel we shall be stripping the paint from the walls, cleaning the paint from the carved reredos, polishing the alabaster, restoration of polychrome and gilding the altar-piece, and stencilling and gilding the ceiling over altar. The windows have already been taken away for restoration and once returned, will be installed with backlighting. The floor is to be restored and cleaned and new spot-lighting installed.

Architect’s Sketches

sketch1

 

sketch3

Sanctuary-bay

sanctuary-arch

 

 

If you would like to help us in any way, please contact us at:

Corpus Christi Catholic Church
1 – 5 Maiden Lane
Covent Garden
LONDON
WC2E 7NB
Telephone: 0044 20 7836 4700

or complete the online form on ‘Donate to our Parish’