Fixtures and Details
The December 1909 parish magazine reported the gift of the Calvary to the church, the figure and the English oak cross being two separate anonymous gifts. It was to be placed in the south aisle “on the spot where the old Clergy Vestry used to be”. The April 1910 issue stated that a canopy was to be placed over it. The report of the 1938-39 Annual Church Meeting in the April 1939 issue stated the calvary had been moved to the west end.
The June 1926 parish magazine carried a list of volunteers to collect donations for the new font, adding that about £150 was needed “but it may very probably be more”. It concluded by saying that £20 received so far. The following month it mentioned that three more designs for the font had been received from Mr Leslie Moore “and we must lose no time in selecting one” and that only £26/3/6 collected so far. (Leslie Moore was the son-in-law and partner of Temple Lushington Moore and had completed the design of the tabernacle cover in the Resurrection Chapel in 1919 after Temple’s death.) The August 1926 magazine stated that the Finance Committee had accepted one of the three designs “with modifications”, to be submitted with estimate at next PCC meeting.
By the December 1926 issue £100 had been raised, but no estimate for the work had been received from the designers. This had risen to £160 by the January 1927 issue. The October 1927 magazine reported receiving a cheque from Joseph Green’s executors for £170, stating “Mr Green was always a good friend to St Michael’s and this legacy is the final proof of his devotion to the Church.” The following month carried a further explanation of the bequest – it was £170, including £50 “for the repair and embellishment of some part of the Church”. It had been decided that this should be the font. The March 1928 magazine stated that the new font was being erected at the time of writing.
The new font was described in the September 1928 magazine. The lower shields bore the arms of London, a plain Greek cross, a serpent in a goblet (symbolising St John the Evangelist), the arms of the Province of Canterbury, the fleur de lys (symbolising the Virgin Mary), a plain Greek cross pommee (symbolising St Michael) and the arms of the Diocese of London. The upper shields showed “M” (for St Michael), IHS (the sacred monogram), the Shield of the Trinity, three instruments of the Passion, “Laus Deo” (praise be to God), two triangles with an eye (another symbol of the Trinity), IHS again and three fishes. The December 1933 issue included a final account of his time at St Michael’s by Fr Merritt, stating that £280 had been spent on new font but that the “cover [was] given later” (reported December 1933)
The font cover seems to have been erected in 1929. The Parish Magazine records no other details about it.
Mr C W Jewitt, who designed the small St Michael statue, and the Calvary outside St Michael’s Golders Green, was selected to design the war memorial in April 1920. He submitted two designs, one for a crucifix on the external west wall, and one for a calvary mounted on steps inside the church railings. “After a long discussion it was decided to select the latter design, as being on the whole more appropriate. There was no difference in the estimates, as the cost of either design would be £290. This seems a big sum, but we know how impossible it is to expect anything approaching to pre-war prices at the present time. So we must set to work. We have about £24 in hand so far.”
The design was featured on the cover of the Parish Magazine from June until Michaelmas 1920. In September of that year, in a last exhortation for donations, the Parish Magazine reads “we are sure that more and more as the years go on our Calvary in the Camden Road will appeal and fortify and console myriads of those who see it; and that in their inmost hearts they will bless those who have erected it as well as those in whose memory it was erected.”
The memorial was dedicated on 3rd October 1920. As an extra £50 had been raised, gravel was installed around the steps. The service of dedication began with the hymn ‘When I Survey the Wonderous Cross,’ and included the laying of wreaths by the Lad’s Brigade, the Day School pupils, and the Girl’s Club.
The beautiful painted ceiling has always tended to be neglected during hard times, only to be rediscovered later. The Parish Magazine entry in September 1928 makes this clear:
As the work on the interior of the Church proceeds we are beginning to realise that we have a ceiling worth looking at, and indeed it is the opinion of those who know, to be one of Mr Bodley’s masterpieces in decoration. Were it in Italy, it would be boomed by the guide-books as a fresco of great merit. It consists of 144 emblems of S Michael joined together by a regular floral design. Right along the chancel and nave on both sides, at the spring of the arch, is the following inscription painted in beautiful Old English lettering: – Stetit Angelus juxta aram templi habens thuribubum aureum in manu sua. Regem Archangelorum Dominum Venite adoramus, venite exultemus. Te splendor et virtus Patris Te vita Jesu cordium Ab ore qui pendent Tuo laudamus inter Angelos. Patri simulque Filio Tibique Sancte Spiritus sicut fuit sit jugiler cum angelis et archangelis cumque omni militia coelestibus exercitus nomen tuum laudamus et hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus sine fine dicentes Sanctus Sanctus Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth saeculum per omni gloria. Amen.” … partly the Preface of Mass of St Michael and partly from various mediaeval rites.
The first history of St Michael’s, In the Beginning, includes a translation of this Latin text, as follows:
In the Chancel, the words are taken from the Preface in the Communion Service:
“With Angels and Archangels and with all the company of heaven we laud and magnify Thy Glorious Name, evermore praising Thee and saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts.”
In the Nave are two verses from the old Office hymn for St Michael’s Festival, followed by the antiphon, the translation being as follows:
“Thee, of the Brightness and the Might
Of the Father, Thee we sing,
Jesu, of our hearts the Life,
On Whose lips the Angels cling.
To the Father and the Son,
And, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
As it was, so let it run
Glory through eternity.
An Angel stood at the Altar of the Temple,
Holding a golden censer in his hand (Rev. viii:3)
O come let us adore the Lord, the King of Archangels.
O come let us rejoice.”
At present, the paint is peeling especially from the lettering, but the ceiling as a whole still reflects the beauty spoken of in 1928.
These illuminated altar cards form the memorial to Edward (Ted) Garbutt, the second of only two members of the congregation to die in the Second World War. They were executed by hand by a Mr Harding, and, quite aside from their beauty, give an insight into the liturgical life of St Michael’s in the 1940s.
The Creed, the Gloria, and the Eucharistic prayer appear as in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The other prayers on the card, however, do not appear in the BCP Communion Service. Rather, they are taken from the English Missal, a translation of the Roman Missal from Latin into a kind of Cranmerian English. This allowed Anglo-Catholic clergy to maintain worship in the vernacular, while also expressing a fully Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, not present in the BCP rite. For example, the text “Recieve, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God, this pure offering” (In the bottom left-hand corner of the Order of Mass, top) makes it clear that the Mass is to be understood as a sacrifice, as it is in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.