Faculty Application - Church Lighting Improvement

Our church St John the Divine, Willenhall, Coventry was designed by Sir Basil Spence, architect for Coventry cathedral, and consecrated in 1957, and since it is an exceptional example of 20th century post-war build, it was listed in 2015. The building has ‘trial’ features for the cathedral and has distinctive hanging pendant lighting.The current church lighting is unfortunately too low to give real reading clarity for the congregation and groups when it is dark at any time of the day, evening or night. 

To improve this, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has been investigating various solutions with the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). Recommendations have been developed in detail since 2017 and the PCC and DAC favour the current Specification dated 2/2/2020. These include spot lights near the eastern end in order to light the pulpit altar etc. plus column-mounted plainly designed up and downlighters combined. The aim is to raise the general level of lighting for when the church is used daytime, afternoon, evening and night, so people attending services or events can read and see properly to correct the problems described.

The proposal will brighten up the interior and give enough light for all, with flexibility for creating a worshipful atmosphere, and mood when required, as well as lighting up different areas of the church (e.g. Font, Altar, Lectern, Pulpit, etc) as focal points in our worship.

Instalec Limited (now CLS Electrical Services limited) have provided a Specification for this work including positioning additional Digitally controlled (DALI) lighting. We have raised grants from the Diocesan Church Improvement Fund and All Churches Trust plus church fund-raising to pay for the work to be done. 

The visual impact of the improvements has been planned to ensure that existing Sir Basil Spence features and character are preserved e.g. suspended pendant lights will remain, and any structures that are added will be hidden and blend in to maintain the original church style so that it looks the same. All new wiring is to be concealed as far as possible and the contractor will be responsible to the church Architect and the Clerk of Works of St. John the Divine Church for agreeing various routes. 

For full details of the Specification please see the attached document here


As no objections were provided to the Diocesan Registrar this Faculty was provided on 19 June 2020 and the work was completed in July 2020.