Church decoration in Allen

 

The church still contains a complete decorative scheme in the sanctuary area and, according to Mary McGrath, conservator of fine art, Rosetown Lodge, Newbridge, this is the original decorative scheme dating back to 1868-1870, when the church was built. Intact, original decoration is now quite rare as a result of redecoration over the past 150 years and the changes in the liturgy after Vatican II. This painted decoration is, consequently, significant in a historical context. It is of a very high quality, detailed, complex and carefully designed to enhance the architectural features of the sanctuary, chancel arch and side altars.

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The figure of the Holy Trinity, wearing a three-crown mitre

Decorative schemes were individually tailored for a specific churches, although some design motifs were employed over and over again. The church in Allen has a polygonal apse which required a considerable amount of planning to decorate.

 

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A highly-worked stencil decoration of St Brigid, in the sanctuary

Stencil decoration was much favoured in the 19th and early 20th century for church decoration. Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-52), an outstanding architect and a convert to Catholicism, formulated a series of designs and colours considered appropriate for church interiors.

Furthermore, a book called the Grammar of Ornament, published in 1856 by Owen Jones, formally outlined what parts of a church should be decorated, and how and why. The basic rule is that decoration should not be used for itself alone – its function is to enhance architectural features.

 

  1. Church of the Holy Trinity read more...
  2. First wedding and baptisms read more...
  3. List of parish priests read more...
  4. Church windows read more...
  5. Vatican II read more...
  6. Fascinating details read more...
  7. Church decoration (this page)...
  8. Interesting facts read more...
  9. Rededication read more...