The mural


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The mural

The mural - photo by Gordon Licence

In 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."

The mural carries these words from The Wisdom of Solomon - chapter 7 verse 24:

"For Wisdom is more mobile than any motion: yea,
she penetrateth all things by reason of her pureness.
For she is the breath of the power of God & a clear
effluence of the glory of the Almighty: an effulgence
from everlasting light & an unspotted mirror of the
working of God: an image of his goodness. And
being one hath power to do all things & remaining
in herself reneweth all things and from generation to
generation passing through holy souls she maketh
men friends of God and prophets."

In the stained glass windows, the artist has incorporated in his design the three aspects of human nature: physical, mental and spiritual. Through them, the divine light is seen at work uniting and energising them all.

Stained-glass windows

The church banner
The mural is depicted on the church banner, designed by Jill Smith. The image on the reverse of the banner contains two elements: the denomination's flaming chalice motif, and the colour flashes formerly used as a logo by the London Borough of Croydon.

The bannerThe banner

Croydon chalice logo The reverse image has been adapted by John Carter into a logo used on bookplates and other literature.