On the recommendation of Heal’s Design Director Carmel Allen (now Creative Director at LINLEY), we (Chris Eckersley and Gareth Neal) were introduced to Monsignor Jim Curry, the priest in charge at Our Lady of Victories church in Kensington.
Monsignor Curry explained that the Sanctuary had gone through several partial re-orderings since the 1970s, and following the major refurbishment between 2010 and 2015 it had become apparent that the reconfigured Sanctuary lacked visual cohesion; it was now time to address the disparate collection of ecclesiastical furniture currently in place.
Monsignor Curry guided us through the religious, liturgical, architectural, and community considerations that he felt were needed to understand fully the significance of the items to be designed, and the environment they sat within, in the desire that the new pieces could provide some sense of continuity with the visual language of the church.
The initial meetings went well, and we were jointly awarded the commission to design the new furnishings. These include an Ambo (pulpit) and Tabernacle pedestal, along with ceremonial candle holders and all the necessary furniture including principal chairs, choir benches, and credence tables. The designs were to take consideration of the new Reredos, which had recently been completed by the artist Stephen Foster, and is central to the vision for the new Sanctuary.
From there began an amazing journey following in the footsteps of a traditional commission for the improvement of this beautiful parish church. Over the last two years we have worked on the creation of fifteen original pieces, collaborating with the UK’s leading craftsmen in wood, brass, and stone.
This unique opportunity has involved in-depth historical research and the result, we hope, is a carefully considered solution to the needs of church furnishings for a modern church and contemporary congregation.