Features of the Building
The stained glass windows were designed by Mr Hubert Blanchford of Essex. The east window was specially designed to harmonise with its surroundings. Stained glass can often obscure natural light, but this window is made of a type of glass designed instead to accentuate the effect of the light.
The background colour of Rouen blue is carried throughout the window, and against this background there are various figures in their colourful robes.
The subject of the window is the second coming of Christ. The Lord is shown in the centre, on the clouds of heaven and surrounded by rays of heavenly glory. His robes contrast with the marks of the passion on His hands and feet, Above Him are angels, and also St Clementine, St Fursey and St Felix.
The groups of people at the bottom of the window are anxiously awaiting the Lord's return. One of these figures is an earthly king who offers Jesus his own crown. The texts at the base of the window are "To them that look for Him shall He appear" and "Be ye also ready".
The reredos behind and above the communion table is built of two different types of stone form the West Country: the light-coloured central portion is from the Beer Stone quarries in Devon, whilst the surrounding framework if constructed from Polyphant stone form Cornwall.
The main features of the reredos are the three large sculptured panels. The central one depicts the crucifixion of the Son of God, and bears the words "Christ died for our sins".
The panel on the north side shows a scene form the nativity, with the words "Let all the Angels of God worship Him". The panel on the south side has a representation of the Emmaus scene, where the Lord is made known to the disciples in the breaking of the bread.
The communion table has an elaborately carved front and is made form solid oak. It highlights by its sheer size the importance in Christian worship of Holy Communion. It was made by Mr Herbert Read of Exeter, as were the reredos and the font at the back of the church.
The choir has, one one side the organ loft and on the other a women's chair gallery (no longer used for that purpose. There is nowadays, of course, no such segregation of men and women!).
The height of the building at the east end gives to that part of the church its own distinctive identity, as contrasts with the nave, in which the lectern and pulpit dominate with their own emphasis on the Word of God.
Note that, technically, there is only one pulpit; on the left hand side as you look toward the east end. The other 'pulpit' is a lectern! These twin features of pulpit and lectern emphasise the equal importance in Christian worship of the reading and expounding of the Word of God.
The pulpit, lectern, communion rail and the stalls were all made by Messrs A Robinson of Westminster, following the designs of the architect.
The font at the back of the church was carved from one solid block of Beer stone. The figures of angels on the font hold shields bearing the words "Suffer the little children to come unto me".
By the end of 1995 approximately 4,000 children and adults had been baptised in the church - those in the most recent years in the other font which is kept in the chancel area and which was made by Mr Norman Dickerson.
The western gallery displays upon its front the Royal Arms and also the arms of Queen Mary.
The building itself may have been completely new, but the six bells were transferred to St Catherine's from the church of St Mary at Coslany.
The bells are all very old and were cast in Norwich. The two oldest were made by Bracer between 1424 and 1513; two more by John Brend in 1640 and the others by Samuel Gilpin between 1679 and 1705.
Four of the bells bear these inscriptions:
- 3 and 4: John Brend made me in 1640
- 5: +IN MULTUS ANNES () RESONE CAMPANA JOHIS
- 6: +DULCIS CISTO MELIS () CAMPANA VOCOR MICHIS
The treble is twenty-two inches in diameter and weighs two and a half hundredweight (or whatever that is in metric!) The tenor is thirty-two inches in diameter and weighs six and three-quarter hundredweight.