Outlook Issue 20 Winter 2015
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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This is a day to be glad
13 ordering – and we wonder what St Mary’s would have looked like had he been let loose on its adornments! It was the little-known Scottish-born Arts and Crafts architect, William Adam Forsyth (Surveyor to the fabric of Southwark Cathedral), who sat at his drawing-board in Stratford Place (off Oxford Street) London, and designed the major re-ordering during 1936-37. August 1936 saw the removal of the plaster ceilings from the aisle roofs, followed by a transformation of the sanctuary area, each adornment being a memorial gift. The fine reredos, the altar and riddel-posts (Fr Dand’s gifts to celebrate 25 years in the priesthood), the statues of SS Nicholas and Anne and their canopies, communion rails and new sanctuary floor, were all designed by Forsyth. The old altar was placed below the Pitman monument to form a south chapel, and the font received its splendid cover (which deserves an article to itself). Forsyth’s handsome new pulpit followed in 1940. A panel from it, carved with an ancient ship in full sail, has been preserved in the present reading-desk. The east end’s glorious ensemble was completed in 1946, when Martin Travers’ beautiful east window was installed, having spent the war years in storage. W A Forsyth’s final commission for St Mary’s, designed in 1947, was the handsome Barnardiston memorial doors, which we all see and touch as we enter. Whenever I push the great door open, I think, ‘Ah … Forsyth … How splendid!’ Forsyth never achieved Comper’s fame, and one writer called him a ‘pedestrian’ architect – but his work is so very worthy and beautiful, and I reckon that St Mary’s is as good a place as any in England where people may appreciate and enjoy it. Roy Tricker This is a day to be glad These were the opening words of a poem (below) read at Jill Hawes’ funeral service and written by Jill herself specifically for this occasion. Each line filled with gratitude for a life lived to the full, Jill was the eternal optimist: her cup was always half full, never half empty. Following her Surrey childhood, Jill gained a First at Oxford and began a successful teaching career. A loving wife, mother and proud grandmother, she was a multi-talented lady. She loved to party, as guest or hostess, serving delicious foods enhanced by great conversation and social skills. A sun worshipper, she was an avid sailor and strong swimmer. Gardens