St Dunstan of Canterbury Orthodox Church

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St Dunstan of Canterbury Orthodox Church
Parkstone, Romanian Orthodox church of St. Dunstan of Canterbury - geograph.org.uk - 466056.jpg
View from the northwest
Coordinates: 50°43′28″N 1°56′19″W / 50.72444°N 1.93861°W / 50.72444; -1.93861
DenominationAntiochian Orthodox Church
Websitehttp://www.saint-dunstan.org/
History
Former name(s)Church of St Osmund
St Stephen the Great Church
DedicationSt Dunstan
Architecture
Architect(s)G. A. B. Livesay, E. S. Prior, Arthur Grove
StyleNeo-Byzantine
Completed1927
Administration
ParishBournemouth and Poole
ArchdioceseBritish Isles and Ireland

St Dunstan of Canterbury Orthodox Church is an Antiochian Orthodox church in Parkstone, Poole, Dorset. It is the parish church for Bournemouth and Poole within the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of The British Isles and Ireland. A Grade II* listed building, the church was built in the early 20th century in Neo-Byzantine style by the architects G. A. B. Livesay, Edward Schroeder Prior and Arthur Grove as the Anglican Church of St Osmund.[1] Its west front has been called Prior's final tour de force of church architecture.[2]

Closed by the Church of England in 2001,[3] and declared redundant, it subsequently became an Orthodox church and was rededicated, first as St Stephen the Great Church,[4] and then as St Dunstan's.

Architecture[edit]

The west front

In 1904–05 Bournemouth architect G. A. B. Livesay built the eastern end of the church, establishing a Byzantine style in brick and terracotta which was followed sympathetically by the later architects.[5] The chancel has a semi-domed apse and a semicircular ambulatory.[1] It contains a ciborium built over the crypt, evoking the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome.[6]

The church was completed by the Arts and Crafts architect Edward Schroeder Prior, in collaboration with Arthur Grove who seems to have concentrated on the finer detailing.[5] It was Prior's last major work. Most was built during 1913–16, but the north aisle and transept were only completed in 1927.[6]

Prior used multicoloured handmade bricks from Wareham, and his own patented thick handmade stained glass. He used reinforced concrete for the dome over the crossing and the barrel vaults of the aisles; flaws in the concrete necessitated some later rebuilding by other architects in 1922 and 1950.[1] Below the dome, the column at each corner of the crossing has four terracotta angels, with outstretched wings, attached to its capital.[7]

The imposing west front displays an eclectic mix of styles,[7] and has been described as being prophetic of Expressionism.[5] The central double door is surmounted by a shallow terracotta arch which extends between two flanking, polygonal turrets. Above, there is a balustrade and a 12-division terracotta wheel window containing geometrical patterns of stained glass.[1] At the top there is an arcade surmounted by a gable, and Byzantine-style cupolas on the turrets.[2] The church has more wheel windows, of 8 divisions, at the transept ends.[1]

Further problems with the concrete vaulting prompted the Church of England's closure of the church in 2001.[3]

Organ[edit]

The 1931 church organ is by John Compton.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Historic England. "Church of St Osmund (1273602)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Service, Alistair (1977). Edwardian Architecture: A Handbook to Building Design in Britain 1890–1914. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-500-18158-6.
  3. ^ a b c "Church fate". Bournemouth Daily Echo. 9 June 2001. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  4. ^ Howse, Christopher (24 June 2008). "Orthodox Exodus". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Richardson, Margaret (1983). Architects of the Arts and Crafts Movement. London: Trefoil Books. pp. 75–76. ISBN 0-86294-031-1.
  6. ^ a b Newman, John; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1997). The Buildings of England: Dorset. London: Penguin. pp. 334–336. ISBN 0-14-071044-2.
  7. ^ a b Jenkins, Simon (2000). England's Thousand Best Churches. London: Penguin. pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-141-01126-2.