Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Mass in St Mary Magdalen's, Wandsworth
I love this church. St Mary Magdelen in Wandsworth is the church of Fr Martin Edwards, the National Chaplain of the UK Chartres Pilgrims. He has been responsible for much restoration, to its present impressive and artistically coherent state.
It has a rood screen: this is how rood screens sometimes developed in the Baroque period, essentially just a rood loft (see this from Paris). It is a pity that it lacks the Altar rails which would, I assume, have matched it and continued it. It is the suggestion of a screen between the nave and the sanctuary, not anything actually impeding one's view - not that Rood Screens really do that, outside cathedrals, as I have explained elsewhere.
The Mass was the occasion for a reunion of the Chartres pilgrims; we sang the Chartres anthem 'Chez nous' after Mass, in French. It was accompanied by a professional choir, sponsored by the Latin Mass Society. This excellent choir accompanies a Missa Cantata once a month.
The church is actually square: it is very wide and very short. Somehow it doesn't feel like that: the side-aisles feel like additions to the nave, with lower ceilings. It has an impressive decorated ceiling.
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