English Gothic Revivalism: Joseph Aloysius Pippet and the Church of the Sacred Heart, Caterham, England

The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus located in Caterham, Surrey, England was built in the year 1881 and follows a classic gothic revival pattern, typical to the tastes of the time and place in which it was built, taking in many regards the template of a medieval parish church.  The church building proper was designed by Edward Ingress Bell (1837-1914). 

While the general architecture is worth a look in its own right, what is of particular interest and our point of focus today are the decorative elements found on the interior which were designed by Joseph Aloysius Pippet (1840-1903), an Englishman who was educated at Downside Abbey school and apprenticed under the esteemed John Hardman & Co.  Pippet's work can be found in various churches in England besides this one, not least of which Shrewsbury Cathedral and Salford Cathedral.  

Pippet designed the mural work found around the church which includes a series of scenes taken from the life of Christ.  

The church similarly includes beautiful patterned stencil-work in repeating patterns. One can also see here the beautiful side altar with its altarpiece.

Going around the apse near the historic high altar are a series of beautiful medallions which feature choirs of angels holding their respective instruments; beneath are found the words "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus" which is obviously related both to this angelic theme, as well as its placement near the altar upon which the Sacrifice of Christ is renewed at each and every Mass. 

Particularly striking are the images found on the face of the high altar itself which features two angels with censers to either side of the Lamb of God. 

The altar itself is accompanied by a riddel curtain behind as was popular in the early English gothic revival. 

The entire work is a symphony of colour and patterned ornament, bringing forth the very best and richest expressions of the English gothic revival. 

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