Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bethel Chapel, Guildford

In final answer to a request, I post modern pictures of Bethel Chapel, The Bars, Guildford. They were mostly taken last Lord's day, and so it was rather overcast.

The front of the chapel. In summer the trees effectively screen much of this. It's a beautiful piece of Edwardian design, with hints of the Arts and Crafts movement in the round-headed windows and the employment of vernacular rather than Gothic design. Remember London Road Congregational church, Kettering, is just ten years older than this. Unlike Pollard, kettering, there is no attempt to make the building look imposing and public - again, an arts and Crafts influence. Because of the buildings on either side, the large dormer window is a necessity as well as an architectural feature.

The gloom inside is a result of it being a very overcast day, nothing else. As you can see, Bethel Chapel has changed little since it was built in 1910. The main changes are the memorial to the first pastor, the microphones, and the organ. Until a few years back all singing was unaccompanied. The books in the pews are of course Bibles, psalm-books and hymnals.

The most important part of a Baptist chapel is the pulpit, usually located behind the Communion table. This is the pulpit at Bethel. As you can see (barely, even though I used the flash), the pulpit at Bethel, and the reading-desk on the communion table, where the deacon leads the service from, are both Gothic in detail, as are the chairs behind the Table. If you enlarge the picture you may just be able to read Mr. Wiltshire's memorial tablet.

2 comments:

Jonathan Hunt said...

Excellent!

Jonathan said...

I've been in this chapel before for a service. So so deathly...


Jon
Church Hall of Shame.