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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Ecclesiastical & Heritage World JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd

When it comes to church lighting, experience matters

svdKTKHSt Mary Magdalen in SandringhamWhen Anthony J Smith (Glos) Ltd was formed in 1976, it was initially as a general electrical contracting company carrying out work in domestic, commercial and industrial properties.

Anthony’s first foray into church lighting was when his own church, St Peter’s Catholic Parish Church in Gloucester, suffered from an arson attack and as part of the Fabric Committee – he is now chairman, and has been for many years – he was allowed to carry out lighting tests and trials.

It was not the first time that Anthony experimented with the effects of light: he remembers that, as a child, he used to carry out similar experiments in the garden with a bare lightbulb and the shiny reflector from an old two-bar electric heater.

UO8hzAmThe Catholic Cathedral in Plymouth

The solution at St Peter’s was obviously deemed a success, as neighbouring churches in Gloucestershire and further afield invited him to share his experience and competence in transforming those most important of buildings through the implementation of new lighting systems.

At an early stage of the church work Anthony learned two things: that a new lighting system was only as good as a careful, considerate and sympathetic installation of cabling and that the correct solution could only be found following extensive trials and discussions – not only with diocesan representatives but also with the end users of the building, namely the congregation, the PCC and the Fabric Committee.

2ROPPWwMalmesbury Abbey

That ethos is still followed today and while the company are happy to work and advise alongside the church architects, they are also more than happy to work directly for the churches as it allows them to work on a nonfee basis.

While Anthony’s own input to the company has been reduced – he is considerably past retirement age, but still enjoys being involved – the connection of the company to the relighting of liturgical buildings remains strong, with it making up at least 90% of the work that the company carries out.

pSUZNUdPershore Abbey

The company has been involved in relighting many of the country’s finest liturgical buildings over many years and some of those are currently being worked on for the second time around – which is testament to the good relationships and partnerships being formed, not only before and during the time of the projects but also long after they have been finished.

The hard work and determination of Anthony and his team have been rewarded with nationally recognised lighting design awards for lighting projects, including the external floodlighting of Worcester Cathedral, St Mary Magdalen in Sandringham and the architectural gem that is St Andrew’s, Kingsbury.

The company are proud to have worked in countless churches large and small, of all denominations, over very many years, including Malmesbury Abbey, Belmont Abbey, Mount St Bernard Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory, the Birmingham Oratory, St Chad’s Cathedral and the church on the Royal Estate in Sandringham, at which, directly after completion, Anthony was invited to read the first lesson in front of the distinguished worshippers.

A large project at the Catholic Cathedral in Plymouth was completed last year. This consisted of the complete design and installation of new lighting and wiring which included external colour change LED lighting for the visually dominating spire

• For further information call 01453 825 130, email the team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.anthonyjsmith.co.uk. Alternatively you can visit Anthony J Smith (Glos) Ltd at CRE Midlands on Stand A23.