Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Saturday 16th October 2021

The 20th Century Church

In the early 20th century further embellishment of parish churches continued in minor ways, especially for commemorative purposes; new stained glass windows, and lych-gates at the entrance to churchyards, were frequent additions, often provided as First World War Memorials.

With declining congregations in the later 20th century, funds were often inadequate for maintaining both church and churchyard. Older buildings were not always well suited to the more informal practices encouraged by the Liturgical Movement which gathered strength from the 1960s. In orderGlossary Term [1] to bring the altar closerGlossary Term [2] to the congregation, reordering of the interior took place, which could involve abandoning the use of the chancelGlossary Term [3]. Aisles might be divided off for other uses, and space was made for social events either within the church or by building additional accommodation.

New churches designed to accommodate 20th-century needs increasingly abandoned both historicist detail and traditional planning, experimenting with a wide range of innovative designs.

Last updated: Saturday, 25th April 2009