The Parish Church of Saint Matthew Big Lamp ~ Newcastle
The Building - An overview
In   saying   that   Saint   Matthew's   draws   its   inspiration   from   the   Gothic   Revival,   we   should   think Butterfield   rather   than   Pugin.      The   Church   is   open   and   light;   the   chancel   sits   behind   a   low   wall permitting   easy   sight   of   the   High   Altar.      The   arcade   of   arches   in   the   Nave   continues   into   the Chancel,   uniting   the   two   spaces,   the   only   distinction   being   modest decoration   of   the   capitols   of   the   pillars   in   the   Chancel   (see   picture to the right). The   church   was   unashamedly   designed   for   the   celebration   of   the Liturgy.      Views   of   the   High   Altar   dominate   the   building;   and   the wide   aisles   facilitate   processions   and   easy   movement   around   the building.  Early   designs   show   a   much   greater   number   of   pews;   but   in   the end   the   present   more   restrained provision    was    chosen    leaving    a much     less     cluttered     and     more spacious   feel   as   well   as   permitting the   establishment   of   a   number   of subsidiary       altars       with       their chapels. The   site,   however,   did   not   make the   design   easy.      It   is   an   almost square   plot   (92'   x   88'),   sitting   on a   slope.      It   is   for   this   reason   that there     are     steps     at     whichever entrance    you    use.        The    central part     of     the     church     sits     on     a concrete    raft,    which    provides    a flat     foundation     for     the     inner arcades   of   arches.      The   cascading aisle     roof     levels     disguise     the square   shape   of   the   building,   which   would   otherwise   compromise the   desired   West-East   thrust.      The   windows   in   the   North   aisle   are clear, because of their proximity to the adjacent building.
The original plan for the pews -thankfully abandoned only the pews in the main body of the nave survived.