The gates were opened and It was good to be back for a service at Long Street although with a difference, for the first service in the building since 15th March, 2020.
To make easier to comply with covid protocols, the service was held in the hall of the Edgar Wood Rooms. The atmosphere was different, but a success all the same and will be repeated again next week. If you would like to book a seat phone 0161 6530512.
Laurie of RescueStationCIC had a 7.00am drone flight from the garden on Tuesday 23rd June. Conditions were ideal, the air was still and the sky was blue. The ground crew were briefed and had their instructions to inform passers by that they were within a 50 meter radius of the flight. The filming was on behalf of the Heritage Trust North West, a closely associated Trust who provide services for the GMBPT.
The filming of Long Street Methodist Church and the Edgar Wood Rooms will feature on the HTNW web site together with other heritage property in the HTNW’s portfolio.
With all the interest in Arts & Crafts churches recently, two books being published on the subject, it is worth mentioning that religious Arts & Crafts work sometimes turns up in quite unexpected places.
A good example is St. Mary’s Church in Wigton, Cumbria. This is a large 1788 classical preaching box, miles from anywhere north of the Lake District. It’s a fine looking building. I went in with my ‘Georgian’ hat on and it certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard.
However, one of the aisle windows beneath a balcony caught my eye with its harmonious green tones and Arts & Crafts character. Looking more closely, a Crane signature marked it out as being by Walter Crane, who, as a metropolitan based socialist, is possibly the last person you would expect to see in these parts.
The window is quite formal – a nod to the classicism of the building, perhaps. It represents Christ as the Light of the World. The border has cherubs sitting on the branches of a climbing plant which grows around Christ as if sustained by his light – a nice blend of Christian and Art Nouveau ideas. The date is 1906, so it is a late work.
Wakter Crane was born in Liverpool and taught in Manchester in the 1890s. He was the first president of the Northern Art Workers Guild which was set up by Edgar Wood. While Crane and Wood knew one another it is not yet known how close their artistic paths coincided. For more information on Walter Crane click here.
The church gates were decorated yesterday for Pentecost and the first service since lockdown at Long Street planned for today, unfortunately had to be postponed, so it was back to Zoom.
We now look forward to the first service on the 13th June. Until then the Sunday morning and evening services will continue on Zoom. Details can be found on the Manchester Circuits web site. https://manchestermethodists.org.uk
The Title is: “Is it or isn’t it? A Field Guide to Arts & Crafts Churches.”
Alec says “It’s my attempt to answer the big question that constantly crops up: “What are the essential characteristics of an Arts & Crafts church?” Also expressed as, “How do I know it’s an Arts & Crafts church when I finally get into it?” (Another popular one is “There is a church near me. It has a Burne-Jones window. Why, oh why, is it not in your book?” And I have a soft spot for “Who was this William Morris bloke anyway
As this fourth talk is for VicSoc, I have to warn you it costs £5 to view. I know. A disgrace. But cheaper than Netflix and Curzon Home Cinema. And shorter. And VicSoc needs the money – rest assured, I do not get a bean. Meanwhile VicSoc has to carry on its work as statutory consultative body on planning matters, and keeping a sharp eye out for buildings under threat, despite the current unpleasantness. Whereas I am a diversion.
If you missed Alec Hamilton’s talk yesterday lunchtime, it is available on the Churches Conservation Trust’s YouTube feed. Just enter ChurchesConservation Trust into your browser and you will find all the information.
Weekly lectures are free and are live at 1.00pm but you do need to register or sign into Facebook.
Following a water burst last week, on Friday the damaged surface was being removed (revealing some of the original stone sets). Although the Church remains closed (Covid) details of online services can be found on the web site www.manchestermethodists.org.uk
Alec Hamilton author of the recently available book ‘Arts and Crafts Churches’, published and available from Lund Humphries, gave an excellent lecture last evening for the SAHGB (Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain). With over 400 illustrations taken from churches across the country, showing a wealth of both variations and similarities of what can be said to be examples of the Arts and Crafts Church.
The ‘icing on the cake’ for me was the mention of, and images of Long Street Methodist Church, together with the plug for the website www.artsandcraftschurch.org
A recording of a previous talk by Alec on ‘Arts and Crafts Churches’ is available on the Victorian Societies website www.victoriansociety.org.uk or try the link Arts & Crafts Churches – Crowdcast
The Rev. Caroline Wickens departs Long Street Methodist Church to continue her 45 mile sponsored ride around the Churches in the Circuit. Donations are in aid of the Faith Network for Manchester and donations can be made via the Ride for Faiths Together page on gofundme.com
Saint Martin’s Church was established in 1867 by Mrs Hudson of Brabyns Hall. It was designed by John Dando Sedding and subsequently extended by Henry Wilson. The church contains art works by William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.
Edgar Wood painted a picture of the art nouveau Lady Chapel which was designed by Henry Wilson. It shares some of the stylisms used by Wood.
Following the long lock down, Theo (martial arts leader) held his first session on Monday last. Although having to have his classes outside to conform to guide lines, it was good to see the premises in use once again. After this Monday’s outside session, he should be able to move back inside during the last week of the month.
While doing our weekly check of the building this morning, I opened the main church door to check the rain hopper and was surprised to be greeted by a delivery man. On balance he was more surprised than me to see the church door open. The delivery was a copy of a new book, by Julian Treuherz and Peter De Figueiredo, in which they “pull back the curtain to reveal 111 fascinating and eccentric destinations” in and around Manchester. “Edgar Wood in Middleton”, together with a photo of the garden and church feature at number 32 (alphabetic order). I suggest the church and school rooms fall in the fascinating category rather than the eccentric!