Bishop Edward King Chapel

I had made an appointment to see the Bishop Edward King Chapel at Ripon College, Cuddesdon because it is an unusual attempt to solve the problem of a contemporary sacred space (I have rashly agreed to lecture on this topic in Salisbury in a fortnight’s time).

The brief was presumably how to create a sacred space for a relatively small, and unusual, congregation – the students of Cuddesdon Theological College, the traditionally élite seminary of the Anglican church (Robert Runcie was its principal before becoming Bishop of St. Alban’s). Niall McLaughlin was recruited as architect, then less well known than he has since become, not least through the publication of this building.

It’s a small-scale and quite intimate space, made special by a simple internal structure of over-arching roof trusses made out of pale, bleached wood – both simple and complex in a satisfying way and totally unornamented, relying for its effect on an appreciation of its harmonious method of construction, like a super-elegant piece of origami:-

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2 thoughts on “Bishop Edward King Chapel

  1. joan says:

    It’s many years since I visited it (must have been the early years of London Open House) but Niall McLaughlin’s sacristy and chapel for the Carmelite Monastery in Kensington remain in my memory as a very special place.

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