The Nave

The principle entrance to the nave is through the good sized narthex (porch), which is offset to some degree in order to give dramatic impact to the first view of the sanctuary. The eye is immediately drawn to the large, colourful and spectacular reredos painting behind the altar. It draws one into the warm, welcoming, light-filled interior of what the late Professor Patrick Nuttgens described as ‘an unpretentious but deeply religious place for a worshipping community’. The fan-shaped design with the sloping floor creates an auditorium entirely suitable for the celebration of the liturgy, the whole congregation has an unrestricted view of the sanctuary area and feels at once a sense of involvement and participation in the worship.

The spirit of community is encouraged by the positioning of the organ and the seating of the choir. They face the congregation just to the side of the sanctuary, and invite even the most reluctant voices to join in the singing.

The nave also has a social dimension for it has proved to be an ideal setting for the performance of that music and drama which has the power not only to refresh the spirit but to reinforce faith. Between the narthex and the nave there is a repository. This opens off the narthex but also incorporates a sales point with access direct from the forecourt surrounding the Cathedral entrance.