This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Roman Catholic churches differ but little from those of the Establishment, partly on historical grounds, and partly because the needs of the ritual are somewhat similar; but it always has to be borne in mind that the English Establishment Church is an offshoot of the Roman Catholic, and that the great majority of the older churches in England were originally built for Catholic worship, and have been used since the Reformation without material alteration, save the destruction of side chapels and any intrusions within the general body of the edifice. These chapels, however, are essential to the Catholic ritual, and, as will be seen by referring to Fig. 9 - the well-known church in Spanish Place designed by Mr. E. Goldie, F.R.I.B.A. - they have to be provided for. In this case it is done by means of double aisles, the outer aisle, both to the north and south, being given up to chapels, each of which occupies a bay or space between column and column. At present there are only four such chapels in this church, but it will be quite possible to increase the number by simply introducing them into a greater number of bays. These are independent of the large Lady Chapel, which, in the older places of worship, was usually found at the extreme east end of the church, but has here been placed in the south chancel aisle, corresponding very closely in position and arrangement to the morning chapel of the Church of England, and, like the example at Catford, served by a passage behind the east end of the chancel. Even more than in the Church of England is it necessary that the altar should be in view of the whole congregation. It has, if possible, to be placed a little forward of the eastern wall, to allow the steps to be introduced where shown; but there are few necessary obstructions, the reading desk, lectern, and litany stool being absent. At the same time, provision must be made for processions, so that a single-passage church is scarcely permissible, lisle as well as nave passages being necessary; and as a general rule movable seats or chairs are preferable to fixed pews, to enable the congregation to face in any direction. As the vestments and other church furniture are frequently of considerable value, a treasury is occasionally added as an adjunct. At any rate, a good deal has to be made of the working sacristy, while, if possible, an altar is contrived in the greater sacristy.
Figs. 10, 11, and 12 represent smaller Roman Catholic churches on the hall principle, for use in connection with special buildings where subdivision of the congregation is necessitated. Fig. 10, for instance, represents the chapel in the Convent of St. Mary at Ascot, designed by Mr. E. Goldie, and is provided with nave and aisle passages, so that processions can be formed and easy access obtained to the four chapels which extend as transepts to the north and south. The seating is all arranged to face easterly, but is divided into sections for the inmates of the convent of different classes, and for the children belonging to the attached schools. A separate entrance is arranged to the sacristy. A view of the exterior will be found in the upper part of Plate III.
In the Priory of our Lady at Hayward's Heath, also designed by Mr. E. Goldie (Fig. 11), the division is carried somewhat farther, the central portion of the church being given up to lay sisters and pupils, who obtain access to it by a door from the cloister, while the western end forms the nuns' choir, with seats facing inwards, except for two for the use of the superiors, which are so arranged as to overlook those of the nuns. This, as observed in Chapter I., is a common arrangement in schools and colleges, and is often known as the collegiate system of planning.
Hawksyard Priory, again designed by Mr. E. Goldie, the chapel of which is illustrated in Fig. 12 and in the lower portion of Plate III., shows a similar arrangement save that the sacristies are placed on the south side, and there is a cloister also along that side to give access near the western end of the nave for processional purposes. In this case there is an external door for the use of the public, who are admitted as far as steps which rise to the choir, while a door at the northern side of the nave enables approach to this portion of the chapel to be obtained from the cloister also. In the Priory at Haywards Heath there had been no provision for chapels except one in the transept, but there is a large one on the north side and a small one on the south at Hawksyard. The separate entrance for priests from that used by the choir will be noticed, but otherwise the plan presents few additional or new features.
Mave - - -
Choir - - -
The Chancel. Hawkesyard Priory, Staffordshire.
[E. Goldie, F.R.I.B.A., Architect.
[E. Goldie, F.R.I.B.A., Architect.
Nonconformist and Exceptional Places of Worship 13