Re-dedication of the Lawrence Monument
The terracotta monument, which features four angels, is a large and complex work of the Arts and Crafts pottery designer Mary Seton Watts, who is famed for the remarkable Watts Mortuary Chapel at Compton in Surrey. Conservation work, which is a rare occurrence for Mary’s work, was carried out by Patricia Jackson, Mick Pinner of West Meon Pottery and South Coast Memorials, thanks to the support of a number of local volunteers, and funding from the family, the Pilgrim Trust/Church Care and other local donors.
Members of the family, who had travelled from Kent and Suffolk, gathered with the conservator and the congregation to take part in the service and enjoy a talk by Hilary Calvert, a national expert, about the life and work of the artist, who founded the Compton Potters’ Guild in 1898 with products sold at fashionable retailers, such as Liberty. The talk was followed by a very special lunch provided by local parishioners. The church was decorated with angels made by the school children of Meonstoke CofE Infant School and displays of historic photographs of the village and of the Lawrence family, when they lived in Meonstoke.
Churchwarden, Angela Peagram, said “We are thrilled that this beautiful work of art has now been brought back to its former glory, as a fitting tribute to Dorothy Lawrence, thanks to the painstaking work of the conservator and the skills of the potter. The work of Mary Watts complements that of another artist of a similar period, Mary Lowndes, a pioneer female stained-glass artist, whose magnificent window is also at St Andrew’s.”