Monday, August 03, 2009
Disoveries and Revelations at St Mary Magdalen's
Tomorrow a group of parishioners and I, in order to save money, are going to remove the lino on the floor of the Church, so we can see if it is possible to sand and varnish it rather than having to put in another floor. It might be a bit superstitious of me but I have chosen tomorrow, the feast of St John Vianney, to ask his intercession. If it is not possible, we will have to put in a new floor, which will be just too expensive.
As part of the preparation work we demolished an old confessional which seems to have been made up of old wardrobes. It is very rarely used and obscures one of our Hardman windows, which are one of the treasures of our Church. May be it is fitting to do so before the Feast of the Assumption. This is the revelation, it hasn't been seen properly for over fifty years.
You can see where the confessional has been removed, the white paint is the original colour scheme from the 1970s which has been undercover, the grey is grime of votive candle smoke over the last 40 years. You can also glimpse the state of the paint work generally, at one time there was green paint beneath the string course.
Now here is the discovery, a trap door! We pulled up an area of lino and discovered it. Beyond it is a smaller trap door used for access to the crypt which goes down to the "turn" in the stairs, at one time this was open, with a balustrade. It is supported by a vertical beam on the stairs and is divided in two lengthwise.
I don't know if there is a reason for bubbles emerging from the depths.
Here is one section of the floor cleared.
Here is the original colour scheme, the stone unpainted, the plaster whitewashed with a little restrained stencilling.
Thank you to those of you who have sent donations for the work, we are very grateful.