Lighting up the Rood Screen

A story of "derring-do!"

In most homes, a conversation around the dinner table about how to get into the London Docks would involve a map or a sat nav.  Not so in Dorothy Cronnelly’s house. Their discussions might revolve around the most spectacular way to crash a fire engine,  the best parachute to use whilst lowering 4 people out of a Hercules military transport plane traveling over 100 miles an hour, or actually reversing into the Thames.
Although Father and son are stuntmen, and her daughter a world class skydiver, they all value the input from Dorothy on such matters.

Dorothy, a parishioner at St Anselm’s Parish Church in Hatch End, mentioned that it was a great pity that the carved oak rood screen is never lit up, as the light fitting could not be reached.  Fortunately, her son is blessed with a ‘can do’ attitude, an athletic frame and through his film work, is knowledgeable about the health and safety aspects of work at height.  He has worked as a stuntman in many well-known films (from Braveheart to Batman) and said he would sort it out. 

True to his word, David arrived at the church, complete with rope access kit.
After slinging a rope up and over a beam, he climbed some 25’ up and along the cross beams, before arriving directly above the altar. Once here, he leant over, inserted a new bulb in the fitting and adjusted the angle of the lamp.  He then abseiled down, pulled his rope away and the job was done

It’s great to see Charles Spooner’s magnificent carved oak screen lit up.  We are very grateful to David and hope he will be able to come back if the light goes out – although it is a long life bulb!  We are also very lucky to have volunteers Richard Simmons and Roger Bessell who have taken on the daunting task of painting the church, which has not been done for 70 years.  We thank Willesden Baptist Church who have lent us the tower so they can reach right up to the 30’ apex of the roof. 

Jill Whitehead
Parish Administrator, St Anselm’s Parish Church