Our building

Our present church on Croydon Flyover (originally Friends Road) was built between 1958 and 1959 (see our history page). The architects (were David Evelyn Nye and Partners.

The building is described in Unitarian Heritage, page 106, as follows:

Brick and concrete, meeting-house style with large window divided by mullions. Good use of site with central garden surrounded by chapel, covered walkway and hall. Large vestibule with stairway and upper landing leads to chapel. High ceiling, strong light from full-length windows; back gallery. Focus is on front wall, with mural incorporating words from the Wisdom of Solomon and stained glass windows by Laurence Lee.

The mural

The muralIn the church, there are three windows towards which the congregation looks, and beneath the windows is a central symbolic mural in relief. These are intended to represent the emphasis in our free faith on the reality and power of the spirit or inner light.

Both mural and windows were designed for the church by Lawrence Lee (1909-2011), of the Royal College of Art, who was also chief designer of the famous windows for the new Coventry Cathedral. The artist gave deep thought to a Unitarian understanding of God as the universal spirit of life and light inspiring every living soul.

Lawrence Lee explained his own work: "The design of the mural is meant to suggest a canopy or tent (to represent the passing world) sustained by the eternal spirit. The eye should be drawn to the Centre of the Light, then immediately projected out again to its various manifestations. Light, being a kind of energy, is the nearest we can get to the essential nature of the Spirit."