St. Simon and St. Jude

Roman Catholic Church, Streatham Hill

4. Improve and update the lighting in the church:

Parish Refurbishment, renovation & restoration programme of Works - June 2018:

Improving and updating the lighting in the church: There is a practical need to make major changes to the existing church lighting because of the following:


  • the church is not well illuminated, and we have several dark spots where it is difficult to read
  • the Sanctuary is not evenly lit. This does not help us to highlight or draw our attention towards the spiritual and liturgical focal points, such as, the Tabernacle and the Crucifix.
  • the existing lights on the Sanctuary are on the vertical tracking which are fall too low, and the lights shine directly on the celebrant’s face.
  • the ceiling lights hang too low and restrict the view of the Iron candlebara fittingaltar from parts of the gallery
  • the light fittings have degraded and cannot be replaced 

iron candelabra lighs hangingOur electrician and parishioner Matt Kemp, advises us that he is no longer able to maintain the light bulb fittings on the hanging metal circular lights as they are too old, degraded and breaking up. As will be seen there are missing bulbs on these fittings, consequently we are now unable to replace these bulbs, due to the age of the fittings and bulb holders that are broken.


Having sought advice from a specialist lighting consultant, theexisting ceiling light cradles recommendation was to replace all the hanging lights with multiple lights mounted on discreet tracks running at a higher level (than the current fittings), where the walls meet the ceiling. This new position would light both the nave and the ceiling, making the church look bigger.

Matt Kemp has been working closely with the lighting consultant to check on the practicalities of this new system. We will have one of these new types of light mounted on the scaffolding tower, so you can get a bit of an idea of what it would look like.

Records indicate that the wrought iron candelabra (along with the Old smaller iron light candelabraexternal gates and railings) are c1990, and were commisioned designed and made by blacksmith Tim Hallet of Hale Village near Warrington. Unfortunately with the passage of time, these iron designed light fittings are no longer suitable for the church or servicable, though they have served the church well over the years. Modern technology and inmprovement in lighting make it the correct moment to replace these older light iron candelabras for reason mentioned above.

Iron candelabraOlder iron candelabras

Old light under gallery

The project team and lighting specialists are also considering ways to improve the lighting under the gallery and for the Divine Mercy Window /gallery stairs and for the porch / entrance hall.

The delivery of the new tracking for the new energy efficient and directable spot lights. The tracking will be set high up on the wall just below where the wall meets the eaves.

Tracking for ligh fittings arrive Trackingfor new ligh fitting fixed

The new church lighting is now installed which has already transformed the church in to a much brighter space, the removal of the old iron candelabras has given the church a different more spacious and brighter look. The new lights also highlight the newely cleaned exposed brick walls.

 new lighting hilights cleaned brickwork.

Without the hanging candelabras we have claimed back the upper space of the church which we were not able to enjoy, and the view is no longer obstructed obstructed.

Tracking and opreational lihts

It is said that 'a picture may convey or paint a thousand words'. If this is the case, then the photographs below hopefully help illustrate how the new lighting has illuminated and showcased the renovated, cleaned walls and brickwork to a new level, compared to the old lighting.

new spotlights and cleaned brickwork

The new spot lights new placements were carefully selected to better reflect spiritual elements in the church, in adition to effectively lighting up the interior of the church.

new spotlights & brickworkspotlights highlight Tuckpointing

Please note this webpage is in the process of being updated.

RC Archdiocese of Southwark CIO Registered Incorporated Charity No. 1173050

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