St Gabriel, Blackburn

St Gabriel's Church, Brownhill Drive, Blackburn, Lancashire


"In 1978, Clarke controversially appeared on the cover of the journal Architectural Review with a work titled Velarde is Not Mocked. Clarke had been commissioned to design and fabricate two windows for the notable 1930s Art Deco church of St Gabriel, Blackburn, by F. X. Velarde, which was to be restored; the windows, as part of the restoration, were designed to complement and respond to the architecture, making reference to elements of the original design of the building, considered a milestone in the development of English church architecture towards modernism. Significant changes were made by the restoring architect to the building, and the interior and exterior elements were unsympathetically altered. Clarke's public attack on the treatment of the architecture by the restoring firm, and his refusal to compromise with the Cathedrals Advisory Committee on their recommended changes to a design commissioned in 1976 for two windows in Derby Cathedral, marked the end of his working in the Church of England."