One of the many pleasures at Merton was meeting up with Fr John Osman, who I hadn't seen for over two decades. I had heard of his restoration of his Church in Dorchester, when it hit the liturgical sites with pictures of its Lenten array. The picture here is from a series by Br Lawrence Lew OP, foolishly I didn't take any of the altar myself, so do look at his.
St Birinus is quite tiny but jewel-like, especially with work that Father John has instigated. Immediately opposite the door is a copy of this medieval statue of Our Lady, the original is at Ampleforth, it is a wonderful contrast with rood screen which glitters and glows. The gilding and shading on the figures has not yet been completed, when it is it will be breathtaking. I was fascinated by the housling clothes, which are used as communicants choose to kneel to receive. The altar is ad orientem, not only is it against the wall but it has riddle curtains too, so exquisitely English.
Once the rood screen has been finished the next project is restoration of the glorious sanctuary ceiling and a little restrained decoration on the elegant nave roof.