A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

W. E. Ellery Anderson and St Stephen’s Church, Cheltenham

William Elbert Ellery Anderson and the changes made to the Sanctuary of the Church of St Stephen, Tivoli, on the Eve of the Second World War

On 8th October 1939 a newly-decorated altar and its ornaments were dedicated at St Stephen’s Church. Isabel Kirby and Brian Torode, in their history, ‘St Stephen’s Cheltenham’, provide us with the following details:

‘The old altar had been lengthened, and the shelf behind it lowered to the level of the altar. A new dorsal and new side wing curtains, and a new frontal, were provided. “The new cross and candlesticks of copper heavily plated with silver stand out well against the background of the red and gold dorsal in the pine-wood frame (decorated with Jesso), delicately carved to stand out in shining burnished gold.” Such was the style of the altar piece until 1963, when the present form was introduced. The wing curtains and their pelmets have been removed, but the dorsal has been kept to provide the present reredos.’

The Church was built to meet “the growing needs of the wide and populous district of Tivoli” and for nine years served as Chapel of Ease to Christ Church. The congregation of Christ Church subscribed to the building of St Stephen’s in order to “provide a church for the ever growing population of working people in the outlying parts of their parish.” The Foundation Stone of the new Church was laid on 4th November 1873, and the first service was held on 30th October 1874. The new Church consisted of the present Chancel and the intention was to complete this ‘Chapel’ should the accommodation prove inadequate. Subscriptions were invited for the addition of the nave and aisles in 1881 and these were completed in time for the Consecration of the Church on 20th December 1883.

The chancel of the Church was built as a memorial to the first wife of the Reverend Joseph Fenn, Vicar of Christ Church, who died in 1870 and the ‘chancel carvings, the reredos and Communion Table, and the altar rails, bear the same memorial significance as the chancel to Mrs. Fenn, while the sanctuary furnishings were a gift from Mrs. Little…’ (Kirby and Torode, ‘St Stephen’s Cheltenham’)

St Sn 9
St Stephen’s Chancel in 1885

An engraving exists of the east end of the Church, dated 1886, which shows that the arcading, now on the west wall stands, formed a reredos and was situated behind the altar, between the sill of the window and the stone shelf which still runs right along the east wall of the sanctuary. According to records, this arcading was removed by December 1897 to its present position. Back in 1886 the Communion Table was small and uncovered, with only an alms dish placed upon it.

Isabel Kirby and Brian Torode trace the story of the sanctuary furnishings in their guide book to the church. They note that by 1897 a dorsal and wings were added to the altar which was decorated with two candlesticks and a cross in the centre, with flowers on either side.

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High Altar at St Stephen’s 1922

So why were changes made during the 1930s? During 1936 St. Stephen’s welcomed their new Vicar, the Rev. Ronald Huntley Sutch. In September of that year he wrote a critical article in the parish magazine indicating his concerns about the High Altar, the East Window, the Sanctuary and the Baptistry. He didn’t think that the stoning of Stephen was an appropriate theme for such a focal stained glass window. He wanted to get rid of some ugly red curtains from around the Baptistery and to replace them with panelling as soon as possible. Concerning the Sanctuary there was a suggestion that a dorsal and riddle posts and hangings together with a carved reredos would be most appropriate.

By 1937 Mr. Sutch had contacted the local architect, William Elbert Ellery Anderson, to further his proposals. This architect had already designed the panelling for the Lady Chapel in 1929-30 (see The design for the re-modelled Sanctuary included dorsal, riddles, angels on poles etc. and it was felt that the arrangement would draw one’s eyes to the altar rather than to the murderous scene above. The scheme was delayed due to the Bishop’s appeal to parishes for funds for building Church senior schools. A lesser scheme was suggested but this was put on hold. Interestingly only the red curtains were removed from the Baptistery and, although money was donated, no panelling appeared.

In 1938 Mr Sutch repeated his earlier criticism of the East Window saying that, “perhaps someone one day will replace it.” At this time Anderson prepared new designs for St. Stephen’s Sanctuary which were considered more suited to our needs rather than two years ago. A faculty was applied for in the May for a new dorsal hanging in a wooden frame, a lengthened altar, new riddles, now cross and candlesticks. The Faculty was granted in September 1939 and work commenced.

St Sn 26

So what was going on at St Stephen’s? Why were the Sanctuary constantly being changed? The answer is probably two-fold but linked first with a change of churchmanship and secondly with what Peter Anson would trace in his book, ‘Fashions in Church Furnishings’, ‘the adornment of churches from the rise of the Tractarian movement in Britain in the 1830s to the development of the Liturgical movement at home and abroad during the second world war.’ Sutch and his architect, William Elbert Ellery Anderson, were both influenced by these changing fashions in ecclesiastical décor.

Log tracing the rise in churchmanship at St Stephen’s, Cheltenham during the period between the First and Second World Wars.

Compiled by Brian Torode:

1918: Palm Sunday Blessing and distribution of palms and procession.

Good Friday street procession in the afternoon organised by Rev Clease at St Peter’s and Rev Hodson of St Stephen’s.

1919: By popular request a daily celebration of the EUCHARIST began in October. The word first used in Hodson’s time. Also long letter of inappropriateness of inter communion and change of pulpits with dissenters.

1920: Ash Wednesday, Litany and Commination Service!!!! Sermon by Vicar on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

1921: Ascension Day; Procession around outside of Church with the Gospel of the Ascension read on all four sides of the church.

1922: Midnight Mass of Christmas proposed for next year.

1922: Weekly Saturday Communions will always be Requiems.

1923: August: Vicar addresses criticism of St Stephen‘s as being too Catholic. Personally I can think of nothing more catholic than for a family to be united in love for God and for one another. If people are afraid of St Stephen’s because of its worship and teaching, why bother to go to church at all?

The Mirfield Fathers ran a Parish Mission in October 1923. Fr Horner and Fr Humphries were the Missioners.

A set of white silk vestments was given as a memorial of the Mission by some members of the congregation.

1924: January: the Bishop has been consulted and has told us that ‘The Sacrament may be reserved at St Stephen’ for the sick as may be required’.

CORPUS CHRISTI celebrated for the first time, with two services of HC.

June 1924: at the Diocesan Conference: The Bishop said that some wild things had been said about vestments and of the disloyalty of priests who wear them. He said there were more than 70 parishes in the Diocese where vestments are worn and he found among these priests were the most loyal and devoted and spiritual sons of the Church. Vestments do not give meaning to the service, they take their meaning from the service. On the question of reservation of the Sacrament he declared publicly his own rule to the question: He allows it.

There are some who think we at St Stephen’s are rebels and Romanizers. It is good to know that our Father in God, does not think so and has publicly said so.

July 1924 The Anglo Catholic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land was attended by Mrs Hailstone.  She brought back for St Stephen’s a beautiful Crucifix for the Lady Chapel which she had laid on the Holy Sepulchre that it might be consecrated indeed by that hallowed place.

1924: Sale of work in aid of The SSJE, the Cowley Fathers.

Sept 23rd. Day of intercessions for the Conversion of England – part of Anglo Catholic Congress initiative.

December – a meeting of parishioners to explain the Retreat movement.

 1925– Preacher at Harvest Festival evensong, The Prior of Pershore Abbey, Dom Bernard Clements, a monk of the Caldey Community which later became Prinknash. Dom Bernard remained in the C. of E. His visit to St Stephen’s was to assure people that monastic life in the C. of E. was NOT a thing of the past. Set of Green Vestments given.

1926: Long list of wants – Black Vestments, Mortuary Candlesticks, Pall, red Cope, black Cope, Credence for Lady chapel, silver cruets, white vestments for everyday use, Leather Alms bags, Processional cross, Vestment chest. (A set of red Vestments was given in September.)

Two special collections for the SSM at Kelham and the Mirfield Fathers.

1926– All Souls’ requiem- names to be given to Vicar prior to the service. Mirfield Ordinaton Candidates Fund, Society of the Sacred Mission, Kelham, Bussage House of Mercy, St Catherine’s Home.

 Rev R J Keble came as curate. Rev Robert Keble was the great grandson of the Rev Thomas Keble of Bisley and great nephew of Rev John Keble of Fairford and the Oxford Movement.

Rev Robert remained at St Stephen’s until 1936 when he was forced to retire on health grounds.

Palm Sunday Procession given high profile.

Easter Confessions introduced.

July 1927: March English Hymnal first used, more Eucharistic.

Altar Servers Guild Service at St Stephen’s- the Chapter of the Corpus Christi et Beata Virgo Maria.

Celebration of the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the BVM

Gift of Red cope ordered from Watts, London.

Needs: Processional cross, Vestment Chest, Sanctus bells or gong for sounding at consecration; silver censer-incense is to be used with our Bishop’s permission; Mortuary candlesticks – all had been given by the October Dedication festival.

1928: Altar Servers’ three day retreat in Gloucester

St Stephen‘s was encouraged to support the work and publications of the Anglo Catholic Church Literature Association.

June – special festival of Corpus Christi service with a Mirfield Father preaching. St Barnabas Day celebrated by a member of the Fiery Cross Association.

June 20th ECU Festival held at St Stephen’s.

GSS Festival at St Stephen‘s. Later, GSS Servers from St Stephen’s attended the Annual Festival at Holy Trinity, Knowle – a bastion for catholic worship. They were immensely delighted.

Fr Vernon of the Society of Divine Compassion preached on Sept 30th the Sunday before the ECU Annual Festival. The Primus of Scotland and the Abbot of Pershore were present at the Festival at Prestbury attended by St Stephen’s.

A new silver chalice was given in which jewels from three rings were set.

The Church Congress was held in Cheltenham for the first time and was well attended by St Stephen’s

Requiems for All Souls and Armistice were held.

Brother Herbert of the Cowley Fathers gave a talk on the South African Colour issue.

1929: February: A most beautiful design has been chosen for the processional cross, being given in memory of Rev C McArthur. In silver, showing Christ robed in glory, crowned, reigning from the Tree. A number of jewels given, eight opals in a circle around the figure, and eight more on the boss. The crown of the figure will be diamonds, and the bed of the cross set with fine crystal in centre set round with moonstones. Dedicated Ascension Eve. Jewels were gifts from ladies of congregation.

The Bishop of Ballarat, Australia, preached in October and also Fr Adams of the SSJE, Cowley Fathers.

Mr John Urwin has been accepted for Holy Orders – an altar server – at Lichfield Theological College. St Stephen‘s will support him and the Anglo Catholic Ordination Candidates Fund will provide his College Fees.

1930 – June 23rd – panelling in Lady Chapel Sanctuary was dedicated, together with the carved doors for the aumbry and four statues under canopies. The inscriptions between the windows have been removed and carved on the panel west of the credence. Miss Bagnall Oakley paid for these alterations and beautifying of the Chapel. Gifts made to the Church – Weekday Violet vestments; and tunicle for the Crucifer.

1931– Reservation is now in the Lady Chapel. During last year, 281 home communions have been taken to the housebound.

The Angelus is to be rung daily at noon and at 6 pm, by a rota of volunteers. Copy of Angelus in the Magazine, with explanation. Bell dedicated on Sunday 5th July. Frequent us of new 1928 BCP (not approved by Parliament as too catholic) but used by many churches of our tradition.

Gift of purple penitential cope.

August’s visiting preacher was Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street, at that time the stronghold of Anglo Catholicsm.

1932– Start of preparations for centenary of the Oxford Movement celebrations in 1933. Lots of publicity and encouragement to participate.

1933– Crowded audiences attended lectures at Ladies College on the history of the Oxford Movement. Bishop announced that principle Diocesan celebration will be at Fairford on July 11th. On 14th July at Cheltenham Town Hall, a public meeting will be held with Bishop in chair and Rev J. W. C. Wand, Dean of Oriel College Oxford, and W. I. Croome esq, of Bagendon House, will also be present. Special Communion at St Stephen’s on July 14th.

Novena of prayer for reunion of Christians observed at St Stephen’s.

St Stephen’s celebrated 50th anniversary of Consecration and Principal celebrant at Eucharist was Fr Hart of Mirfield. The whole week of celebrations began with a Quiet Day conducted by Fr Hart and a Procession through the streets of Tivoli for all Church organisations. Parishioners and workers of St Stephen’s took part. Rev R. J. Keble, Rev E. D’Alessio were robed in Copes and Birettas. Rev Addenbroke supported by cope bearers, acolytes, tunicled crucifer and banner bearers.

Thereafter, the pulpit was taken at least once a year by one or other of the overseas or local Bishops – Honduras, Australia, Africa and even our current twin Diocese of Dornakal in India.

1934– Advert to attend High Mass at Tewkesbury Abbey for CU Festival.

Station Day at St Stephen‘s for the Anglo Catholic Congress. Prayers offered for the Conversion of England to the True Faith.

Announcement of amalgamation of ECU and Anglo Catholic Congress under title of Church Union, in defence of the spread of the Catholic Faith and Revival in the C. of E. To be hoped St Stephen’s will support and become members. Vicar of Tewkesbury to come and preach about new structure.

1935– Rev Robert Keble, curate, appointed Secretary of the C.U. Money donated to purchase four Requiem Candlesticks of wrought iron and copper.

June – the Choir of St Mary of the Angels came to St Stephen’s. The boys were all from London slums. They were accompanied by Fr Desmond Morse Boycott, who had founded the school on Anglo Catholic principles.

Church Union pilgrimage to Tewkesbury Abbey led by Fr Robert Keble. 40 members from St Stephen‘s attended and our banner and censer, recently given, were much in evidence.

1936– Tewkesbury Pilgrimage for the Conversion of England- Graphic 12.9.1936

Rev Addenbrooke, though retired, will continue to hear Friday Confessions.

Chronicle – Induction photo of Canon Sutch   8.2.1936

Rev Sutch enthused about 1928 Prayer Book and recommended its purchase. Some alterations to services using the PB of 1928 two days per week. Palms on Palm Sunday to continue as well as confessions. Novenas of Prayer to be continued as well as links with Mirfield Fathers.

1938 New setting of the MASS being learned – Martin Shaw.

For a fuller account see ‘Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire’:

The Architect, William Elbert Ellery Anderson (1888-1942)

William Elbert Ellery Anderson was born in Falmouth on 19th April 1888. He was the son of Elbert Ellery Anderson, an American citizen, and his wife May, nee Hill, who was born in Milford Haven. In 1901 he would appear to have been studying at a small school at Redland Hill House, Redland Hill, Bristol. On 11th January 1911 he married Belinda Gwendoline Saurin at St Aloysius’s Roman Catholic Church in Oxford. Belinda was born in Ireland.

William Elbert Ellery Anderson with thanks to Charlie Haseler

At the time of the 1911 census the couple were living in a six room maisonette at 26 Babington Row, Streatham. William was described as an architect. Ellery Anderson was, in fact, one of the improvers, along with Martin Travers, in the office of Sir Ninian Comper in London and it has been said that only Ellery Anderson came close to Comper’s standards in his own work.

Belinda Anderson with thanks to Charlie Haseler

In 1911 Frederick Bligh Bond, a busy architect and excavator of Glastonbury Abbey, was looking for a partner. He chose Ellery Anderson, a young and gifted architect who had recently left the office of J. N. Comper. Signing his agreement with Anderson on 13th September, Bligh decided to move his principal office to Glastonbury, but retain a sub-office in Bristol. After everything had been put in place, ‘Bond and Anderson’ would announce the formation of their practice at The Guild House, Glastonbury, in early December. From 1911 until 1914 Ellery Anderson was in partnership with Bligh Bond but this came to an acrimonious conclusion and a court case resulted in Bond having to pay Anderson £550 in damages.

William Elbert Ellery Anderson later went into partnership with Ernest Alfred Roiser and had an ecclesiastical practice in Cheltenham. In 1929 he oversaw the beautiful restoration and re-furnishing of the ancient St Mary’s Church at Shipton Sollars. In 1933 he had designed the modest church of Holy Trinity at Primrose Hill, Lydney and also St John’s Church at Little Thurrock, Essex. Later work included Holy Innocents at Kidderminster and, from 1938 to 1939, the Church of St Oswald at Coney Hill, Gloucester, which has been described as ‘the best Early Christian-style in the county.’ He went on to design further churches in Pembrokeshire and carried out work in many other Gloucestershire churches. Anderson and Roiser were later joined in practice by Peter Falconer (1916-2003), the son of Thomas Falconer.

Address: 30 December 1912 • Moorview, Edgarley Road, Glastonbury, Somerset

Address: 30 July 1919 • 63 Bartlemas Road, Cowley St John, Oxford

In the 1924 – 1927 Electoral Roll he is listed as living at Shetcombe House, Toddington.

1931 67 Bath Road, Cheltenham

1934 12 Imperial Square, Cheltenham

Notice of Death (? Newspaper): ‘Anderson. On 15th Dec 1942 at 12 Imperial Square, William Elbert Ellery Anderson L.R.I.B.A. in his 55th year. Funeral on 18th December at 12 noon at Cheltenham Parish Church.’

19th December 1942, Cheltenham Chronicle/16th December 1942, Gloucestershire Echo: ‘The Echo regrets to record the death, which occurred at his home, 12 Imperial Square, Cheltenham on Tuesday, of Mr William Elbert Ellery Anderson, the well-known Gloucestershire architect. Mr Ellery Anderson had been in ill-health for some weeks, but he had continued to attend his office up till last week. Recently he entered into partnership with Mr E.A. Roiser L.R.I.B.A. who will continue to carry on the practice. Mr. Ellery Anderson was a Licentiate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and also a member of the Council of the Gloucestershire Architectural Association. Church Architecture. He was in practice in London and Oxford before coming to Cheltenham. He was a recognised authority on church architecture and a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Mr. Anderson was also consultant architect to Hereford Cathedral and among his many notable works are reredoses at St Catherine’s Church, Gloucester, Tewkesbury Abbey, Bombay Cathedral, Lahore Cathedral, Alassio Church, Italy, and restoration of some of the side chapels at Gloucester Cathedral. One of his earliest commissions in the Gloucestershire diocese was the restoration of St Mary’s Shipton Sollars. The church had been derelict for many years and his renovation was extraordinarily successful. Mr Ellery Anderson is survived by a widow, one son who is a captain in the Army, and one daughter, who is at present in Africa.’

Cheltenham Chronicle Dec 26, 1942 / Glos Echo Dec 19, 1942: ‘Funeral of Mr Ellery Anderson. “We mourn today one who was a great architect – creator of beautiful things. In Churches throughout the land he has left evidence of his creative genius, and for centuries to come the creation of Capt Anderson will be seen and admired.” This tribute to the memory of Mr. W.E. Ellery Anderson, the well-known Cheltenham architect was paid by Rev. E.C. Hanson who delivered the address at the Parish Church on Friday…’

Partner Mr A. Roiser. The Company’s Cheltenham office was represented by Mr P. Falconer and the Northern Office by Mr T.J. Tonge. Mrs H.J. Kenderick, Mr Anderson’s secretary, was present.

Those in attendance were listed. Also Police as he was the Head Special at St Mark’s Divisional Station.

Probate: William Ellery Elbert Anderson of 12 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, died on 15th December 1942. Probate granted at Gloucester on 6th March to William Simon Frederick Harris, Sculptor. Effects valued at £6,469.13.4d

Gloucestershire Echo, 21st June 1943 ‘A young Cheltenham Officer, Captain William Ellery Anderson, Army Air Corps, whose mother lives at 12 Imperial Square… Captain Ellery Anderson’s father who died suddenly last December was Mr W. Ellery Anderson, the well-known Gloucestershire architect.’ M.C. for gallant and distinguished services in North Africa. Aged 23 years.

Known Works

Holy Trinity, Primrose Hill, Lydney, Glos 1933

Alan Brooks, Pevsner: Holy Trinity, Primrose Hill. 1933 by W. E. Ellery Anderson. Small Early-Christian-style church; Coleford brick with tile dressings. Nave and chancel in one, w porch with bellcote above. Wooden pulpit 1935. Small round stone font, perhaps from earlier corrugated-iron church (of 1903) Stained Glass e window 1965 by James A. Crombie (John Hall Studios)

Gloucester Journal, 1st November 1930: Lord Bledisloe’s Offer. The Bishop of Gloucester (Dr A. C. Headlam) presided over a meeting at Lydney Vicarage of the Building Committee for the proposed new church at Primrose Hill, Lydney. The architect (Mr Ellery Anderson) submitted the complete plans of the new church which will accommodate 300 people and the Committee gave their unanimous support to his proposals after full consideration of all the details. The architect was requested to prepare a perspective of the building to enable the parishioners to see the style of the church they would be having. Though no definite announcement was made as to when the building would be commenced, it was hoped that it would not be too long delayed, as the present church is quite inadequate for its needs, besides being in a dilapidated condition. The site of the new church has been given and Lord Bledisloe has promised to give the stone required for the building from his estate, if it was suitable for the purpose.

Echo 1st May 1933: ‘Plan for New Church. The bishop of Gloucester writes in his Diocesan Magazine, “I have to express our thanks to Lord Bledisloe, who has given a site for the new church at Primrose Hill, Lydney. The plans for a suitable building, which will cost something like £2,000, have been prepared by Mr. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham, who has met the demands of the committee for a building which will be moderate in cost, with very great skill. A contract has been accepted, and it is hoped that work will begin very shortly.”

St John, Little Thurrock, Essex, 1933

St George, Nailsworth, Chancel 1937-38

Shortly after the Great War it was decided to add the chancel as a further war memorial. Since 1901 a temporary chancel had been set up at the east end of the nave and the east end of the north aisle was curtained off as a vestry. The organ and choir, which occupied their present positions, were then seen to be a temporary arrangement too. In 1923 Mr Thomas Falconer, a local architect, was invited to draw up some new plans as the originals, by Medland, were considered too ambitious. Mr Falconer suggested a chancel and sanctuary which would have stretched as far as the school. On the south side he proposed a further porch, near to the site of the present organ, and a Lady Chapel flanking the new chancel. On the north side he proposed a vestry and sacristy with an organ loft above and boiler room below. Mr Falconer also proposed a screen which would have divided the nave from the proposed chancel and this would also have incorporated a stone pulpit.

Nailsworth 16
War Memorial by Bligh Bond and Chancel of St George’s by Ellery Anderson

During 1934 Mr Thomas Falconer died and Mr W. E. Ellery-Anderson was appointed to replace him. He designed the present Perpendicular-styled Chancel, Lady Chapel and three Vestries. In 1938, after sufficient funds had been raised, Messrs Orchard and Peer were given the building contract and work commenced. The site clearance necessitated the demolition of the Clerk’s Cottage, erected during the 1820s. Phase II of the Church cost approximately £4,200. The work was consecrated on 19th February 1939 by the Bishop of Gloucester. The altar rails were originally situated on the second step of the Sanctuary but were moved during the incumbency of Mr Rodgers to improve the proportions. The vaulting was not coloured until 1965.

Alan Brooks, Pevsner: ‘The end was completed, with chancel and vestries, by W. E. Ellery Anderson in 1937-8; his windows are in Perp. style, a great improvement internally.’

Holy Innocents, Sutton Park Road, Kidderminster, Worcs. 1938

Holy Innocents was built in 1937/38 to replace a wooden church of 1888 on the same site on the Stourport Road. It was designed in the Byzantine style by W. E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham.

Pevsner: also Early Christian is Holy Innocents, Kidderminster by W. E. Ellery Anderson 1937-8. Sadly incomplete but with a very calm interior. Ellery Anderson based in Cheltenham, began as an improver in Sir Ninian Comper’s office; his church furnishings, usually show this influence, see fine reredos at Cropthorne 1931-2.

St Oswald, Coney Hill, Gloucester 1939

Cheltenham Chronicle 16th July 1938: ‘The foundation stone of Gloucester’s new church, St Oswald’s Coney Hill, will be laid by Freemasons of the Province of Gloucestershire, with Masonic ceremony on Saturday next. A new Church has been made necessary by the rapid housing development at Coney Hill. It will seat 475 people. A loan of £10,000 free of interest was negotiated by the Diocesan Board of Finance to enable the Church to be built. The architect is Mr. W.E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham.’

Alan Brooks, Pevsner: 1938-9 by W. E. Ellery Anderson. Forceful Early Christian-style basilica, of pale brick with pantiled roof; nave with narrow aisles, lower chancel with N Lady Chapel and s vesteries, and very tall campanile-like s tower set proud above the entrance. This tapers slightly, with tripled narrow bell-openings beneath the eaves of its flat-pitched roof. Round-arched windows, the E tripled and stepped; circular w window above a blind round-arched doorway. Simple tile patterning beneath the windows, on the vestry parapets and in the s doorway tympanum. Starkly rendered interior, the four-bay arcades (shorter than the nave) with round piers with cushion capitals. The chancel has a three-bay arcade to the chapel, with doubled columns, and a more closely set clerestory. Open roofs. – Round Font with wave motif. Other original furnishings have been reordered or removed. Stained Glass. N chapel E window by Francis Stephens, 1954.

Coney Hill: St Oswald - A Church Near You
St Oswald’s Church, Coney Hill

Verey, Pevsner: English Altar

Listing Report Grade II: 1939, Stock brick, red pantiled roofs. Long church of six bays, with nave and aisles, chancel with vestry and Lady Chapel, and very tall tower set proud over entrance. Roud-arched windows to nave aisles, clerestory and chancel, round West window over blind round-arched opening also at top of high tower, whose Italianate style is enhanced by its pyramidal roof.

The interior is rendered. Four bay arcades with cushion capitals frame narrow aisles, beyond which the western bay has a narrow processional opening. Larger opening forms entrance arch under tower, matched by a similar opening on the north wall which leads to Lady Chapel. Exposed King post timber roof. Round font decorated with wave motif. Plain glass, but with decorative leading in toplights. Choir stalls, chairs

Original high altar approached by three steps and marked by a simple reredos, panelling and curtains. Round arched sedilia and stoop in south wall. Double columns with cushion capitals to 3-bay arcade between chancel and Lady Chapel. This is a spare, simple church in the Italianate style, whose lack of moulding serves to enhance the power of its large space. It is a later work by a noted Cheltenham based specialist church designer, and is a work of great confidence and completeness.

Chapel, Llandovery College, Carmarthen, 1932-1933 including reredos

Neyland Church, Pembroke 1930-31

Before there was a Church in Neyland people had to walk to Llanstadwell and crossed the river at low tide or by boat if tide was in. The first Church in Neyland was built of wood and corrugated iron and was completed in March 1898 and on October 24th the first service took place and the Church was named St Clement. On Friday 16th November 1928 St Clement’s was flattened by 100 mile an hour gale and in the autumn of 1929 a temporary church was built. A fund was set up to build a more substantial Church of stone, and the foundation stone was laid on Tuesday 2nd October. The New Church was dedicated on 11th June 1931.

St Mary’s Church, Shipton Sollars

Andrew Pike ‘In 1929 work to restore and re-furnish the church to the designs of W.E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham began under the auspices of E.F. Fieldhouse in memory of his parents’

‘At the east end of the chancel the altar comprises a stone mensa or slab. This probably dates to the consecration of the church in the 13th century. It was found under the floor during the restoration work of 1929-30 when it was mounted on stone columns…. The wooden reredos behind the altar is a crucifixion scene, designed, carved and gilded by Ellery Anderson. The panelling also dates from 1929-30.’

‘At the foot of the pulpit are buried Ernest Fieldhouse (1888-1962) and his wife Evelyn (1892-1986) who were responsible for the major restoration of the church in 1929-30. Many of the furnishings, such as the lectern, were given by the Fieldhouses.’

‘Other widows are filled with good quality work of the 1930s by Geoffrey Webb.’

Alan Brooks, Pevsner, ‘when the church was beautifully restored in 1929-30 by W.E. Ellery Anderson.’

Citizen, 9th January 1930: Save the Countryside – Interesting Exhibition at Cheltenham. Arranged by Gloucestershire Branch of the Preservation of Rural England and the Gloucestershire Archaeological Association. Included in the display is a handsome carved and decorated reredos in white wood for Shipton Sollars Church, the gift of Mr E. Fieldhouse. It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship executed to the designs of Mr W. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham, by Messrs R. L. Boulton & Sons.

Reredos at Shipton Sollars

Prestbury 1934

Glos Echo 30th November 1934: Prestbury Church ‘… have now been skilfully closed up, and the whole tower renewed and strengthened. Work supervised by Mr W. E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham.’ (See full article)

St Paul’s Gloucester 1938-39

St Paul’s Gloucester: The entire church was refurbished in 1938-39, and the west end (back of the nave) was lengthened and the east side restored to designs by W. E. Ellery Anderson. This work was financed from a bequest made by Sarah Critchley, and completed the original design envisaged by Capel Tripp in about 1880. Ellery Anderson also designed the piscina (bowl) and sedilia (seat) that are set into the right hand wall of the sanctuary.

St Catharine, Wotton, Gloucester 1937

Verey, Pevsner: The splendid painted Reredos is by Ellery Anderson, 1937

Gloucester Journal, 11th January 1938 Social and Personal: ‘Ceremony of Dedication – Children’s Corner in St Catharine’s Gloucester feature of Christmas. A distinguished feature of Mr Ellery Anderson’s plan is the introduction of a beautiful figure of the Good Shepherd (in harmony with the Sir James and Lady Bruton memorial reredos which he also designed.) The colour of the artistic curtains (enclosing the oak table, chairs, picture etc) as well as of the carpet, is both dignified and appropriate.’

Cropthorne, Worcestershire 1931-2

Pevsner: Fine reredos

St David, Resolven, Neath,Port Talbot: Reredos 1930c

St Michael, Pembroke, Reredos 1932

Holy Trinity, Aberystwyth, Reredos 1932.

Marwood, North Devon 1938

Churchwardens 3398-4/47 – Plan, proposed re-arrangement of the church, by W.E. Ellery Anderson L.R.I.B.A., chartered architect, of Cheltenham and Hereford, 7th June 1938

Church of St Luke or St Llonio, Llanllwni 1934

Internal restoration in 1934, by W E Ellery Anderson, architect of Cheltenham, included construction of the present nave and chancel roofs.


Alan Brooks, Pevsner: ‘The altar dates from the restoration of 1939 by W.E. Ellery Anderson’


w gallery and organ case 1931-2 by W. E. Ellery Anderson


Rood. 1938 by Ellery Anderson

Shipton Oliffe

Pulpit 1937 by W. Ellery Anderson

Some Newspaper References:

Cheltenham Chronicle, 27th June 1925: Gloucester Cathedral. Dedication of Chapel of St Edmund and St Edward. The whole of the furnishings of the chapel was designed by Mr. W. E. Ellery Anderson of Winchcombe in memory of the late Dean Spence-jones and Canon and Mrs. Mowbray Trathe. New stone altar, reredos left in its original condition. Silver Cross and Candlesticks, handsome carved gates.

Gloucestershire Echo. 17h July 1933: St Paul’s Dedication (Cheltenham). St Paul’s Dedication of Baptistry in Memory of Mr J. J. Lane Oakey. Dedication of some finely worked oak railings and panels framing a new baptistery in memory of Mr James Lane Oakey. Railings and Panel are similar to those used in the Cave-Moyle Memorial. The Memorial was executed by R. L. Boulton to the design of Mr W. E Ellery Anderson.

Cheltenham Chronicle, 5th October 1935 and Gloucestershire Echo, 1st October 1935: Bleddington, Didmarton. A priest’s stall in memory of the late Rev A. J. Rendle, Vicar. Designed by Mr W. E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham in light oak. Inscription: ‘to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Alfred James Rendle, Vicar of Bleddington 1914-1928.’

Cheltenham Chronicle, 23rd November 1935: ‘At a recent meeting of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Mr W. Ellery Anderson L.R.I.B.A., of Cheltenham, was appointed consulting architect for Hereford Cathedral.’

Gloucester Journal Cathedral, 9th May 1936: ‘The Bishop – I understand that very shortly a nave altar is to be placed in the Cathedral which I have arranged to consecrate on St Barnabas’ Day at the 8am service. This will be a great improvement, as it will mean that for the nave services, there will be proper signs of the Christian Religion. But I must own quite frankly that I am not content with that. I am very clear that both for the beauty of the building and for the convenience of services the old solid chancel screen should be removed and the organ placed elsewhere. There is included in this number of the ‘diocesan Magazine’ a carefully constructed drawing , for which I am to express my great thanks to Mr Ellery Anderson. It will enable the reader to see how impressive will be the sight of the great east window when it can be seen from the bottom of the nave.’

Cheltenham Chronicle, 13th November 1937: ‘Mr W. E. Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham has been appointed consultant architect for Evesham Abbey bell tower and the Churches of St Laurence and All Saints. Mr Anderson is a member of the R.I.B.A.’

Gloucestershire Echo, Friday 9th December 1938: ‘Mr W. E. Ellery Anderson, chartered architect of Cheltenham has in addition to being architect for the Bridgnorth Senior Schools, Salop, been appointed architect of the proposed senior school at Fairford, Glos.’

Birmingham Daily Post, 21st August 1939: Ancient House Preservation Effort at Hereford. Efforts are being made to save one of Hereford’s oldest houses. Premises in Church Street, property of Dean and Chapter. In the year 1627 it was leased to James Lawrence, Mayor of Hereford, who inserted a very fine plaster ceiling with the ancient arms of Hereford at one end. The ceiling is one of the most elaborate in Hereford and deserves careful preservation as does the entire timber of the house, with its beautiful oak staircase of the C17th and Gothic bargeboards on one of the gables. Mr Ellery Anderson, architect in charge of the Cathedral, has offered to superintend the removal of the house and ceiling pending arrangements for its re-erection, preferably as an adjunct to the museum.

Cheltenham Chronicle, 23rd June 1945, Tewkesbury Notes: Stained Glass window in memory of Mr Thomas Weaver Moore J.P. which was dedicated on Sunday. St Faith’s Chapel Clear Glass. Geoffrey Webb the artist who with the late Mr Ellery Anderson designed the Thomas Moore Memorial Window. Others by Webb include, St Lawrence, Evesham; Shipton Sollars; Emmanuel, Cheltenham; designed in conjunction with Messrs Ellery Anderson, Roiser and Falconer during or after the late Mr Ellery Anderson was connected with the project.

Gloucestershire Echo, 30th September 1949: Turkdean – Memorial by Mrs Nora Moss in memory of her husband, Mr Arthur Edmund Moss, late of Leygore Manor, and son-in-law, Rev Dominic Main R.N. Oak rood screen carved and fully decorated in bright colours on a white background. Carried out by R. L. Boulton & Sons of Cheltenham under the direction of Peter Falconer of Ellery Anderson, Roiser and Falconer. Traditional in character and in accordance with modern design.


Tim Hopkinson-Ball, ‘The Rediscovery of Glastonbury – Frederick Bligh Bond, Architect of the New Age’

The Twentieth Century Church, Twentieth Century Architecture 3, The Journal of the Twentieth Century Society, 1998,

Warham Guild Handbook, 1932, A.R. Mowbray & Co, 1963 edition

Peter F. Anson, Fashions in Church Furnishings 1840-1940

Isabel Kirby and Brian Torode, 1973, ‘St Stephen’s Cheltenham’

‘All Manner of Workmanship’ Faith Craft, Westminster

‘John Middleton, Victorian Provincial Architect’, Brian Torode


With thanks to Julian Orbach for allowing me to publish his list of works carried out by W. E. Ellery Anderson:

ANDERSON, W. E. ELLERY. Architect, Cheltenham. 1887-1943. ?in Oxford before. Had office in Carmarthen in 1930s, from which secured church work in St Davids diocese, noted for good fittings. EA Roiser qv joined as chief assistant 1930 and was in charge of Carmarthen office at time of Neyland & Hundleton churches, took over when Anderson became ill in late 1930s. Firm Ellery Anderson, Roiser & Falconer in 1940s and 1950s under EAR continued in EAR name in 1960s. Inf in list & letters 1992-3 from Roiser EAR also letter 1992 from PM Bartosch qv that much archive lost in office moves. EAR letter says daybook of 1937 survives, little else.

Fittings St Catharine Wotton Gloucester 1926, reredos 1937;

Holy Trinity Lydney 1933;

St John Little Thurrock Essex 1933;

chancel Nailsworth 1937-8;

Holy Innocents Kidderminster 1938;

completed St Paul Gloucester 1938-9;

St Oswald, Coney Hill Gloucester 1939;

1928 screen, Llandysul ch, Cd; EAR list;

1929-35 Neyland ch, Pmbs, and fittings; EAR 1929; 1928-30 BoW;

l929-30 Llanllwni ch, Cms, rest £700; NLW SD/F/?, no plans; £1,250 acc to ICBS; report & bldng wks 1929 EAR

1930? ?St Patricks Chapel, St Davids Cathedral, Pmbs; EAR nd; no such chapel there

1929-34 ?fittings Llannon ch, Cms; EAR nd Llanon; BoW fittings 1929-34 no archt, reredos, pulpit, stalls;

1930 lychgate, Aberaeron ch, Cd; EAR;

1930? alts Crunwere Ch, Pmbs; EAR nd;

1930? alts St Issels ch, Pmbs; EAR nd; not BoW

1930 lychgate, Henfynyw ch, Cd; EAR;

1930? work at Little Newcastle Ch, Pmbs; EAR nd;

1930? Work at Kenfig ch, Glam; EAR nd; not BoW;

1930? Furnishings, Resolven ch, Glam; EAR nd; ?reredos BoW;

1931 Alts Llanddewi Aberarth Ch, Cd; £523/0/8; NLW Par Recs; inc new roof; EAR has Llandewi ch alts & imprs 1934;

l931-2 Reredos & altar, Holy Trinity, Aberystwyth, Cd, in mem Archdeacon D. Williams +1929; exec by R. L. Boulton & Sons; Rev RM Capper, HT church, Aberystwyth, 1886-1986, 17; painted wood; 1931 EAR;

1932 reredos, St Michael ch, Pembroke, Pmbs; EAR; BoW;

1933 Hundleton ch, Pmbs; new ch; WWG 12.1.34; EAR nd; BoW

1933 proposed ch, Ysbyty Ifan, Cd; EAR; unex;

1933-34 Chapel, Llandovery College, Cms; Cymric Times 31.3.33; 1934 EAR;

193? Work, Taliaris Ch, Cms; EAR nd; ?E w has glass of 1939;

1934 ‘Llanddewi ch’ alts and imps; EAR; ?Llanddewi Aberarth, Cd, cf 1931;

1934 lighting scheme, Llangunnor ch, Cms; EAR;

1934 screen, Pyle ch, Glam; EAR;

193? Rood-beam and figures, Milford Haven ch, Pmbs; EAR nd; ?adds to 1919 screen)

1934 alts St Peter ch, Llanelli, Cms; Altar, furnish and decs; EAR; reredos 1934 BoW).

1934 Gorslas ch, Cms; report to Bishop; EAR)

1934 Slebech ch, Pmbs; report to Bishop; EAR)

1934 Reynalton ch, Pmbs; report to Bishop; EAR)

1938 alts St David, Carmarthen, Cms; removal of N transept and altering S transept to vestry; EAR nd; 1938 BoW;

1938 Strata Florida ch, Cd; report and plans; EAR)

1939 heating & other wks, Llandeloy Ch, Pmbs; EAR;

1939 Aberporth Ch, Cd, altar rails & fittings; EAR;

1947? St Peter ch, Llanelli, Cms; apse dec; by EAR; EAR specialist dec; cf 1934;

1947 Goodwick ch, Pmbs, sanctuary panelling WW2 War Mem; EAR; HRO HPR/91; reredos & panelling BoW by EAR;

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