Constructed in 1912, the Church of the Resurrection is a Grade II listed building and a place of holy pilgrimage, teaching and retreat in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. It is the church of a monastic order of Anglican brethren, the Community of the Resurrection, which embraces Benedictine rule.
The job of remodeling and refurbishing the church in 2010 fell to architects Harris McMillan and the practice worked closely with the Community to create an accessible, contemporary space for the celebration of the daily offices – the Liturgy of the Hours. The work was undertaken by William Anelay Ltd of York.
Artifex London first met with Fr. George Guiver, the Community’s Superior, in May 2009 to discuss ideas for a baptismal font. Various schemes were discussed before a simple spiral design by the architect Robert Harris was agreed. At nearly 1.5 meters in diameter, the font represented a major challenge since the central water-bearing element was to be hewn from a single block of Botticino marble. There are very few firms that have the ability to create a single piece of stonework on this kind of scale. Fortunately, Artifex London has enjoyed a long association with Khater srl in Carrara. The company’s managing director Tony Khater personally oversaw the work and ensured a superb end product.
Artifex London commissioned Steel Dreams in West Yorkshire to fabricate a shallow aluminium dish that sits within the aperture of the font when it is not in use. The dish was spun from a single piece of aluminium and then anodized in a bronze colour. It has a diameter of 114cm, is 14cm deep and has a tipping mechanism for draining the water into the font beneath. Concealed within the structure is an air pump that creates a gentle ripple across the surface of the water.
This case study aptly demonstrates why Artifex London is more than simply a distributor of stone products and illustrates the kind of expertise that it can bring to a project. In the case of this project, Artifex London not only worked closely with the client in the able and committed persona of Fr. George (who led the project and drove it forward), but also with a number of other companies and individuals: It worked with the architect during the design phase; it worked with Arup in regard to structural engineering matters, (the undercroft needed to be strengthened in view of the combined weight of stone and water); it worked closely with the site manager and the quantity surveyor as well as its manufacturing partners and subcontractors to ensure the quality of the end product – a product which was delivered on time and which met the highest standards of quality and workmanship. Over the years Artifex London has developed some key partnerships with firms it knows and trusts and is adept at undertaking bespoke projects of all kinds, no matter how challenging.