Saturday, 19 April 2008

Arley Hall Chapel.

The exterior of the Chapel.

Copies of medieval panels by a 19th Century Dutch Master.

A very fine light fitting.

Radiator cover!

A copy of the Madonna della Robbia.

The famous Ornaments and Rubrics panel.



The Nave.

Arley Hall in Cheshire is the home of Lord and Lady Ashbrook, to which house is attached a fine Chapel. Originally connected to the Hall by the old great Dining Room, this building was designed by Anthony Salvin and consecrated in 1845. It is unusually large for a private Chapel, with many ornamental features which attest to Rowland’s preference for the traditionally elaborate ceremonial of the Church of England as expressed in The Oxford Movement, see particularly the three steps to the Altar and the triple sedilia for the Sacred Ministers. It is a fine building and I was lucky enough to visit today and take some pictures for you. It is used still as the Chapel of the family and is where they make their prayers, hear the Mass, are baptised, married and where their bodies are blessed before burial. I had a couple of hours to look at the gardens as well, which are amongst the finest private gardens in the country. They shall be the subject of another post. Those who know me will know that I am a fan of John Donne, the metaphysical poet and preacher, born a Roman Catholic but a convert to Anglicanism, who became Dean of St Pauls in London. He was a famous preacher, poet and author and brought and still brings, many people to a knowledge of God through his unequalled work. This is an extract from his 'Sermon XV' which came to mind when looking around the Arley Chapel. I particularly like the bit about 'One Equal Light', which I think may just feature in my sermon for Trinity Sunday.

... They shall awake as Jacob did, and say as Jacob said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven, And into that gate they shall enter, and in that house they shall dwell, where there shall be no Cloud nor Sun, no darknesse nor dazling, but one equall light, no noyse nor silence, but one equall musick, no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession, no foes nor friends, but an equall communion and Identity, no ends nor beginnings; but one equall eternity. Keepe us Lord so awake in the duties of our Callings, that we may thus sleepe in thy Peace, and wake in thy glory, and change that infallibility which thou affordest us here, to an Actuall and undeterminable possession of that Kingdome which thy Sonne our Saviour Christ Jesus hath purchased for us, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible Blood. Amen.