On a recent visit to Liverpool Cathedral I sort of bumped into, gate crashed, another meeting. Cathedral architect Ulrike Knox was still with my client discussing the possible relocation of a reredos to a position within the Cathedral, the connection being that the reredos was designed by the architect G F Bodley.
In 1902 Bodley was an assessor for the competition to design Liverpool Cathedral which selected a design by the young Giles Gilbert Scott. When construction of the cathedral began in 1904, Bodley was appointed to oversee Gilbert Scott's work.
The reredos in question was originally installed in St Stephen the Martyr, Grove Street, Liverpool where it had a chequered history, one of the incumbents didn't like the reredos and nailed battens to it and covered it with material!
One week later I find myself back at the Cathedral operating a sort of taxi service to the current home of the reredos at St Stephen's Church, Crown Street, the reredos was moved here when St Stephen the Martyr was demolished in 1992. St Stephen's closed as a centre for parish worship in the Summer of 2014 and is now in use as a centre for community work, since that change of use the reredos has been covered again, this time with care, to protect it from damage. Getting the new cover off proves to be a bit of a challenge, I've no photographs of this stage as everyone in the building was required to lower the cover to the floor! As we stood back we were all amazed at the good condition of the reredos, apart from the colour of the wall it sits on and the large pieces of timber to mount the cover, it looked amazing.
The decision to put the Bodley reredos in Liverpool Cathedral has been decided against, but the reredos is moving to another church in Southport once it has been approved by the Liverpool Diocesan Advisory Committee.
I don't know what the interior of the Southport church looks like but I just had to quickly put the reredos on what I think is a better background colour!