In addition to our regular coverage of consistory court judgments, this post summarizes recently reported decisions of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, (CFCE), under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011 and Care of Cathedrals Rules 2006 SI 1941. These cover similar issues to those considered by the Church’s consistory courts, but are more concise, being based upon the decisions reported on Form 10, (Rule 7(9)).
The CFCE determines applications made to it by the cathedral chapter for approval of works under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011. At the last reported Commission meeting was on 23 April 2015, the following applications were determined:
Canterbury Cathedral Quire organ: The conservation, enhancement and re-presentation of the Quire Organ within the North Quire Triforium and South Quire Tribune Gallery, and the relocation of the Organ Loft and Console from the Pulpitum Screen to the North Quire Aisle.
Written representations were received from English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, (SPAB), and the application approved subject to conditions, which require that a detailed design for the organ loft, with suggested materials and visualisations, is presented to the Commission for approval before work commences.
Canterbury Cathedral: Loan of Black Prince’s [heraldic] achievements: Loan of Black Prince’s achievements and Hubert Walter’s textiles to the V&A. Modern copies of Edward’s heraldic “achievements” (shield, helm and crest, jupon, scabbard and gauntlets) now appear above his tomb, and the originals are preserved in a glass case nearby.
No representations made. Approved subject FAC’s approval of insurance and transport arrangements.
Coventry Cathedral: Repairs to crypt: The proposal included: i] Uncovering the concealed crypt to the east of the Wyley Chapel; ii] Waterproofing of the roofs to the existing Wyley and Chapel of the Cross and Concealed Crypt, including construction of a land drain; and iii] an archaeological watching brief.
Representations were received from English Heritage. Element i] of the proposal was accepted, subject to the submission of a plan for the treatment and re-interment of human remains; ii] the recording of the existing column stubs and planters in ii] was rejected on the grounds that the column stubs sit on their original medieval foundations and no justification was given for the loss of this significant feature. All other elements were deferred and for re-submission to the Commission when the archaeological work has been completed and finalised plans drawn up taking into account its discoveries.
Gloucester Cathedral: New stained glass window: A new eight-light stained glass window for the north chantry of the Lady Chapel, designed by Tom Denny to commemorate the composer Gerald Finzi.
Letters indicating “no comments” were received from English Heritage and SPAC. Proposal approved subject to conditions on supervision by the Cathedral Architect and review of glass samples in advance of the work to ensure complimentary of colours with the Ivor Gurney window.
Guildford Cathedral: Organ renovation: Dismantling the Organ (both North Transept and Quire sections), protecting the various parts against the forthcoming building work; re-assembling the organ in conjunction with cleaning and overhauling together with tonal and mechanical improvements.
No representations received. Proposal approved subject to dismantling of the organ being carried out by a suitably qualified team and overseen by the Cathedral Architect.
Lichfield Cathedral: Loan of St Chad’s Gospels to British Museum: Loan the St Chad’s Gospels for the ‘Celts’ exhibition at the British Museum, for the period September 2015 – January 2016.
Representation from Historic England. Loan approved subject to approval of transport arrangements by FAC.
Manchester Cathedral: Hope window protection system: To install a new stained glass window, replacing a plain glazed window in the east wall at the end of the north quire aisle. To install protective measures on the outside of the new window.
No representations made. Application approved subject to approval of details of the manganese bronze frame, including fixings by the FAC.
Portsmouth Cathedral: New organ stop: The installation of an enchamades trompete (Spanish trumpet) solo organ stop in the west gallery of the cathedral. The design, by M. Didier Grassin, used the ichthus design of the organ doors as a base with four clusters of chamade pipes (mirroring the proclamation of the four gospels). The main framework to be made from limed oak to match the West Case, the resonator ends silvered, with the inside of some of the trumpet flares and diamond shapes coloured to echo the Patrick Caulfield doors.
Representation by email from SPAB indicating no comment. Proposal refused on account of the effect on the architectural character of the cathedral church.
St Albans Cathedral: Archaeology in Sumpter Yard: To carry out a further archaeological evaluation of the area known as the “Monks Graveyard” between the Chapter House and the south aisle of the presbytery of the Cathedral.
Letter from Historic England recommending approval subject to the granting of Scheduled Monument Consent. Proposal approved subject to obtaining Scheduled Monument Consent in order to ensure the protection of the archaeological resource
St Albans Cathedral: Loan of statue of St George to Royal Armouries: To loan, to the Royal Armouries of the Tower of London, a 14th century stone statue of Saint George for inclusion in the forthcoming exhibition to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt, exhibition to run from end September 2015 to end January 2016.
Detailed comments in email from SPAB. Loan approved subject to: i] approval of details of packing, handling and transport by FAC for approval before the loan takes place; ii] an Icon accredited (ACR), or similarly experienced monuments conservator undertakes the packing and transportation of the statue, its installation at the exhibition and its re-installation at the cathedral; iii] that the recommendations in the condition report are followed; iv] That a separate application is made to the Commission for the proposed new positioning of the statue within the cathedral following the exhibition; and v] that all works to the statue and information discovered about its condition and repairs be recorded.
St Paul’s Cathedral: Loan of books to the Stationers’ Company: Loan the following items for the ‘God’s Word: Printing in the English Language from Tyndale to King James’ exhibition at the Stationers’ Company on 27 May 2015: Tyndale Pentateuch, 1530-4, printed by Hans Luft?; Concordance of New Testament, printed by Thomas Gybson, 1535; Bible Histories, printed by Simon Cowke, 1536; Matthew’s Bible, 1537 (part Tyndale part Coverdale); Coverdale New Testament with Latin alongside, 1538; Taverner’s New Testament, 1539, printed by Petyt for Berthelet; English Prymer, 1543, printed by Petyt; Psalter, 1553, printed by Whitchurch; Sermon by Feckenham in front of King and Queen, 1555.
Representation from Historic England by letter, and from SPAB by email. Unconditional approval of proposal.
Winchester Cathedral: Hydraulic lift in South Transept Consideration deferred pending site visit.
The Commission next met on 4 June 2015 at which it was scheduled to consider the following new applications:
- Hereford Cathedral: Loan of Magna Carta and the King’s Writ
- Ripon Cathedral: Replacement gargoyles
- Rochester Cathedral: Installation of new water supply
- Rochester Cathedral: Repair and conservation to quire screen
The calendar and deadlines for meetings of the CFCE during 2015 are here. The most recent short report & statistics for the CFCE is that for 2012.
On 1 April 2015 the organization formerly known as English Heritage separated into two parts: the name English Heritage was retained by the charity that looks after the collections, and Historic England formed to take the role of championing the nation’s wider heritage, running the listing system, dealing with planning matters and giving grants. Whilst “Historic England” is now the body that is involved with the CFCE and the consistory courts, the above references to “English Heritage” and “Historic England” accord with the details submitted on the relevant Forms 10.
Gerald Finzi: whom I once heard referred to on Radio 3, no less, as “the 20th-century Italian composer”…
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