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St Matthew’s Church
18th September, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pmFree
The building was designed by a local architect, Matthew Henry Holding (1846-1910) in 13th century Gothic style. The foundation stone was laid on St Matthew’s Day in 1891 and the church was dedicated in 1893 on St Matthew’s Day, 21 September.
Father Walter Hussey second vicar at St Matthew’s commissioned, an outstanding succession of fine works of art. Moore’s sculpture and Sutherland’s painting are the tangible evidence of this in the church, but musical works by Britten, Rubbra, Finzi and Howells were also obtained, and literary commissions by Auden and Norman Nicholson were undertaken. More recently in 1987 David Thomas was engaged to produce 14 Stations of the Cross. These were subsequently cast by Mr D C Giles of the British Museum. Each relief is of a resin-based composition to simulate the colour and texture of terracotta. Behind the figure of The Risen Christ by local artist Malcolm Pollard is a fine filigree ironwork cross which is the work of G R de Wilde. De Wilde was a friend of the architect, and this along with much of the ironwork in the church was installed by him in 1895. In 2009 Ian Rank-Broadley produced a life-size bronze sculpture of St Matthew. It stands on a plinth constructed of Italian Nabresina Marble.
These are displayed against as Sir John Betjeman said ‘soaring vistas of pale stone arches, the superb proportion of window to wall space, the delicacy of much of the detail from the profound, primitive simplicity of Henry Moore’s Madonna and Child, to the lace-like tracery of this beautiful wrought-iron chancel screen, the way the genius of Holding, the architect, leads your eye to the high altar there below the flashing jewels of the East Window’.
St. Matthews Church, St. Matthews Parade, Kettering Road, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN2 7HF