I am pleased to report that as I write the new gates on the front steps of the church are being installed. Whilst the need for this is a sad reflection on the current environment of the neighbourhood, visually it will be a huge improvement on the temporary fencing which has been there for several months now.
During this time the Daily Mass has been celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, as indeed was the case for many years in the past. This has proved to be much better in terms of security, with entry via the chapel gateway and access to the main sanctuary closed. It makes good sense to continue this practice.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is a beautiful space, both for worship and for private prayer. Since the Daily Mass resumed here, the altar has been placed as an experiment in front of the sanctuary step, to permit Westward facing celebration, with the priest facing the people. That has been the practice in the Lady Chapel for many years. The principle of Westward facing has worked well, but I recognise that the present layout is clumsy.
Accordingly I shall be presenting to the Trustees a proposal to reorder the chapel sanctuary by extending the present dais by some 3 feet, angled at either end. This will permit the altar to stand within the sanctuary, under the lamp, and allow for the communion rails to be fixed along the angled ends. It will make too for a more seemly administration of Holy Communion and Anointing. I believe that this will be aesthetically pleasing, and honour the integrity of the chapel’s design.
The Trustees are also considering the installation of appropriate-sized speakers for the electronic organ in the Gallery above the Chapel. This will enrich the holding of small services and events in the space.
With every blessing,