Here at the Palace of Westminster, a number of us have been enthusiastic supporters of the St Stephen’s Chapel Project from the start and were really delighted to see it launched.
Colleagues with expertise in Parliament’s archives, historic fabric and works of art all have a strong professional interest in contributing to the project and in using the research findings to inform our own work. It has such enormous potential!
Some of the early findings on the bosses of St Mary Undercroft have set us abuzz. They are proving quite a distraction for me during my weekly Parliament Choir rehearsals - which take place in the chapel!
We are also very keen to spread the word with wider audiences, and are especially looking forward to seeing the virtual reconstructions. Members of the project team are in the process of meeting our education and visitor services to work out how best to showcase the project to schools and to visitors to the Palace.
Online, the Living Heritage and Art in Parliament sections of Parliament’s website will be obvious jumping-off points for people to access the St Stephen’s project website. See for example:
I’m delighted that the word is now starting to get round more widely with Members of both Houses. John Cooper and I have presented the project to the Works of Art Committees of the two Houses, accompanied by Miles Taylor at the Lords Committee and Tim Ayers at the Commons.
Both Committees expressed their strong support and made some helpful suggestions about how to reach other Members. The Commons Committee was very interested in the issue of how the layout of St Stephen’s has influenced Commons processes and debating style, and continues to do so – and suggested that we should do some myth busting.
We’re expecting some more invitations to Committees and other groups to follow – watch this space for further updates.
Liz Hallam Smith
Director of Information Services and Librarian, House of Lords.
Chairman of the Executive Board.