Church of the Annunciation, Marble Arch, London

A welcoming and international community centred around a devotional life rich in worship, prayer and music
A welcoming and international community centred around a devotional life rich in worship, prayer and music

The Building

A place of worship has existed on the site of the present chutrrch since 1787 when a Chapel of Ease was built by Lord Portman to commemorate the Battle of Quebec (1775). The orginal chapel was reputedly converted from the riding school of the Portman Barracks. By the early twentieth century the chapel had become delapidated and in 1911 it was pulled down

The inspiration behind the new building was the Revd Bernard Day Douglas Shaw. Walter Tapper (1861-1935) was chosen as the architect. Tapper was an authority on church architecture. He was a Royal Acedmician, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and President of the Royal Institute of Architects. In 1928 he became Surveyor to the Fabric of Westminster Abbey where he is buried

The Annunciation is in the style known as Edwardian Gothic. Pevsner notes that to enter the Annunciation is to have stumbled upon 'a fragment of a major medieval church'. Tapper was a pupil of G.F. Bodley (1827-1907) who was a leading light in the resurgence of interest in English and North European late medieval design

The church interior has many fine furnishings. The high altar reredos was designed by Tapper and executed by J.C. Bewsey (1880-1940). Bewsey also designed the stained glass

The organ case is by Tapper and may be based on J. L. Pearson's 1817-1987) organ cases in Westminster Abbey. The organ was built by Frederick Rothwell (1853 - 1944)

The Rood supporting Christ on the Cross flanked by the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John is in the shape of the rainbow, a symbol of the covenant between God and creation

In the north aisle the Somerset Memorial is dedicated to Norman Somerset who was a close friend of the Prince of Wales. He was killed aged 20 at the First Battle of Ypres (1914)

The floor of the sanctuary contains a fine brass memorial to the Revd Bernard D. D. Shaw, the only brass known to have been designed by Tapper. It was engraved by hand

The Stations of the Cross are by Alois de Beule of Ghent (1861-1935). They are plaster casts of originals in wood

The single bell was cast in 1913 by John Warner & Sons, Spitalfields

The Annunciation also contains some furnishings brought from elsewhere. The lampidarium spanning the arch between the sanctuary and the Lady Chapel originally hung above the high altar of St Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham and was designed by A. W. N. Pugin (1812-1852)

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