Project Canterbury

A Retrospect.

By Percy Dearmer.

London: The Warham Guild, 1915.

NOW that the Warham Guild has entered upon its third year of existence, a few words of retrospect may not be unwelcome.

The Guild exists because there is a widespread desire to improve the arts of the Church. In an increasing number of parishes, men are becoming alive to the harm which has been done in times past, and are anxious to hand over a better legacy to their successors. The problem is not an easy one to solve; but something can be done by a Guild that exists for the express object of dealing with it, and for this purpose is in regular communication with artists and ecclesiologists. Something indeed has been done; and the prospect for the future is full of hope.

In the first place, there is a constant output from the [1/2] Guild of the common "ornaments of the Ministers"—common and simple things like surplices, hoods and tippets, albes and rochets, which yet are all of great historical interest, have all a right as well as a wrong way of making them, and can all be made extremely beautiful. Simple as such a vestment as the surplice may seem, it is only by a real knowledge of its evolution, and by improvements in design and material, made year after year as the result of experience and observation in the actual use of the garment, that the best forms can be made. We give here one example which has not been shown before in our illustrated catalogues.

Doctor's Full Choir Habit. (Surplice, Scarlet Chimere, true Hood, Tippet, and Cap.)

Next in elaboration come such vestments as copes, tunicles, stoles, and chasubles made in silks and gold tissues and braids of varying costliness. The Guild has made silk copes for Lincoln [2/3] Cathedral, and for Chichester Cathedral (see Leaflet 6), and many other churches. One of its latest productions was a complete set of vestments for priest, deacon, and subdeacon at St. Matthew's, Westminster; and certainly one of its most interesting was the provision of dalmatics for the first native deacons ordained in the Church of Korea.

More elaborate still are the embroidered frontals and vestments which the Guild produces. Now that the sheer beauty of good colour and line are better understood there is a tendency—and a right tendency—to make both frontals and vestments often without embroidery, using ingenous panelling to enrich the former, and leaving such things as chasubles in the natural grace of their folds. But there will always be also a right demand for some vestments and for some frontals of special richness, such as only the splendour of well-designed embroidery can give. And even in churches that have little desire for such work, one part of the altar furniture—the frontlet—is often selected for special treatment, because it is comparatively small, and is more constantly in use than any one frontal, and because the line of the frontlet, emphasizing as it does the form of the altar, is the most important in the church.

For reasons analogous to these, the burse is another ornament that calls for special richness, and many such have been made both in rare gold tissues and in embroidery. The embroidery also of stoles is so common as hardly to need mention.

We need hardly here repeat what has been so often said by our liturgical experts about the altar, nor shall [3/4] we repeat examples, of which some have been given in former Warham Guild leaflets and in Messrs. Mowbray's "English Churchman's Kalendar." The Guild has recently made altars for King's College, Cambridge; St. Michael's, Aldershot; Christ Church, Tean, Stoke-on-Trent; St. Edmund's, Downham Market; the Parish Church of Spalding; St. George's, Nottingham; and the Garrison Church, Lucknow.

Structural alterations in a church, and large works in general, need to be carried out by an architect; and the Warham Guild would fail in its usefulness if it did not collaborate with architects. One of the first tasks thus undertaken (by Mr. G. Webb, A.R.I.B.A.) for the Guild was the altar and reredos for the famous Church of Fairford, which appears in Leaflet 2. Below we reproduce the screen for St. Gabriel's, Swansea, designed for the Guild by Mr. Geoffrey Lucas, F.R.I.B.A.

Chancel Screen, S. Gabriel's, Swansea.

Stained glass is a form of art in which great harm has [4/5] been done and still is being done: indeed in many churches the problem now is how to get rid of bad windows put up during the last forty or fifty years. There are, however, many excellent artists working among us, and an agency like the Warham Guild can do valuable work by introducing clients to them. There are always examples to be seen in the Guild showroom. Here is a photograph of a window executed by Mr. Arnold Robinson, for St. Andrew's, Burnham.

Stained Glass Window in Berrow Church, Burnham, Somerset.

Several photographs of metal work were given in the Guild's last pamphlet "Some Examples of Church Ornaments" (No. 8: October, 1914). Since then, among other ornaments may be mentioned candlesticks made for the Parish Church, Windsor, and for St. George's, Nottingham; a chalice and paten for the Church of the Epiphany, Auckland, New Zealand; processional crosses for [5/7] All Saints' Church, High Wycombe (by Miss Bayes) and other churches; and churchwardens' staves for Cheltenham.

Lectern made by Mr. F. Smythe Greenwood for St. Michael's Church, Fenton.

Processional Cross by Miss Jessie Bayes.

Examples of work done can be seen at all times in the Warham Guild showroom at 28 Margaret Street, where also new ornaments are exhibited, whenever possible, for a few days before they are forwarded to their destination, so that the exhibits are constantly changing. The Secretary is in attendance from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

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