St Michael, 1939 (Faith Craft-Works)

Before (left) and after (right) the 2018 restoration.

The September 1939 parish magazine states that the church’s memorial to Fr Davis was to be a large statue of St Michael, given by Mrs Davis in memory of her husband. It was to be dedicated on the Eve of the Festival of St Michael at the first Evensong of the Patronal Festival at 8pm. It added “The statue is a very beautiful one and is being made by the Faith Craft-Works. It will stand in front of the second pillar on the right hand side of the Nave.”

The statue was probably designed by William Wheeler, although William Lawson and Ian Howgate are also possible candidates. An extremely similar example is to be found at Christ Church, Ealing. Following vandalism, the example in Camden Town was restored and rededicated at Michaelmas that year. During the restoration it was discovered that the statue’s armour had originally been painted silver and it was decided to reinstate that scheme. Research is currently ongoing as to why it was changed to brown, but it is thought that it may have occurred as a cost-saving measure after tarnishing from pollution, perhaps during the Great Smog of 1952. The statue was also the subject of the 2019 Michaelmas sermon by Sion Rhys Evans, marking the eightieth anniversary of its dedication.

Another Faith Craft Works statue of St Michael of a similar pattern and date. Christ Church, Ealing.