St Benet Fink Church
J S Alder
- Original design
- J S Alder, 1911
The 2020 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2021 programme mid August 2021
The current church is the third incarnation of St Benet Fink, the first two being in the City of London. The first record dates to 1216. The name refers not to a saint named Benet Fink but rather to St Benedict, the father of Western monasticism, and Robert Fink, the benefactor responsible for the original church's construction.
The medieval church was located on the site now occupied by the Royal Exchange and, along with 88 other churches in the City, it burned down during the Great Fire of 1666. The second incarnation, on the same site, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and stood until 1846. It was in this church that St John Henry Newman was baptised in 1801.
By the mid-nineteenth century, the population of the City of London had dwindled to such an extent that a large number of its ancient churches were deemed redundant. Upon its demolition, the old parish was combined with St Peter-le-Poer, and the proceeds from the sale of the site were used towards the construction of the present church.
In 1904, a mission to this part of Tottenham was established and a so-called Tin Tabernacle dedicated to St Luke was opened in Granger Road while funds were raised for the current building. Designed by J S Alder and built during 1911 and 1912, at its consecration, the Bishop of London referred to the third incarnation of St Benet Fink as 'the little cathedral'. The church has remained substantially unaltered throughout the past century.
Window above the High Altar (left to right)
Dove: the emblem of the Holy Spirit.
Monogram IHS: Iesus, Salvator hominum, Jesus, Saviour of mankind.
Two triangles: symbol of the Holy Trinity.
Window above the Lady Chapel Altar (left to right, obscured)
Anchor: symbol of hope.
Cross: symbol of faith.
Heart: symbol of charity.
South Side (beginning at East end)
Tower: the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Cross: probably St Jerome, Doctor of the Church.
Lamb: St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr.
Book and Arrow: St Gregory, Pope.
Pair of pincers: St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr.
Organ: St Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr.
Spiked wheel: St Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr.
Rose: St George.
Winged man: St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.
Winged lion: St Mark, Evangelist.
Winged calf: St Luke, Evangelist.
Eagle: St John, Evangelist.
Carpenter's square: St Jude, Apostle.
Cross: may refer to the finding of the True Cross by St Helena in 335.
Club: St James the Less, Apostle.
Ecce Agnus Dei: 'Behold the Lamb of God', words uttered by St John the Baptist referring to Christ.
Shield and Cross: conventional signs.
Flaming heart: St Augustine of Hippo, Bishop.
Beehive: St Ambrose, Doctor of the Church.
Baptistery windows (left to right)
Noah's Ark: a symbol of the Catholic Church.
Hand: God the Father.
Cross: Jesus Christ, God the Son.
Dove: God the Holy Spirit.
Shell: used in Baptism.
Alpha and Omega: God, the beginning and the end.
North Side (beginning at West end)
Sceptre: St Edward, King and Confessor.
Bow and arrow: St Edmund, King and Martyr.
Sword and cross: St Alban, Martyr.
Axe: St Matthias, Apostle.
Saw: St Simon, Apostle.
Spear head: St Thomas, Apostle.
Flaying knife: St Bartholomew, Apostle.
Cockle shell: St James the Great, Apostle.
Cross saltire: St Andrew, Apostle.
Crossed swords: St Paul, Apostle.
Crossed keys: St Peter, Apostle.
Trident: St Vincent, Deacon and Martyr.
Sword and cloak: St Martin, Bishop and Confessor.
Three bags of gold: St Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor.
Bell and crutch: St Anthony, Abbot.
Anchor: St Clement, Pope and Martyr.
Manacles: St Leonard, Confessor.
Hand with arrow: St Giles, Abbot.
Gridiron: St Laurence, Martyr.
Lady Chapel windows
Crowns: reward promised to faithful Christians.
Palms: triumph, especially of martyrs.
Pentagram: a symbol of God.