The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers’ iconic church on 1998 album cover receives protected status

The church of Our Lady of Fatima in Harlow, Essex, has earned a place of significance not just in religious circles, but also in the world of music. Recognizable to fans of electronic dance music, this modernist architectural masterpiece, with its distinctive brick and reinforced concrete composition and a soaring needle spire, once adorned the cover of The Chemical Brothers’ iconic album “Brothers Gonna Work It Out” in 1998, as reported by The Guardian.

However, its newfound acclaim goes beyond its appearance on an album cover. The UK government, in collaboration with Historic England, has recently accorded the church a coveted Grade II* listing, an accolade bestowed upon structures of exceptional historical and architectural importance, as detailed by The Guardian. This recognition aims to ensure the preservation and protection of this unique landmark for future generations.

Contrary to initial assumptions, the church’s elevation to Grade II* listing is not primarily attributed to its cameo on The Chemical Brothers’ album cover. Instead, it’s the remarkable fusion of innovation, design, and spirituality that sets this church apart, as highlighted by The Guardian. Its groundbreaking “in-the-round” layout, featuring a freestanding altar at the center of its 500 seats, offers a panoramic view to all congregants, while the vividly colored stained glass windows envelop the interior in a breathtaking interplay of light and color.

Clare Price of the C20 Society aptly described the experience of entering this church to The Guardian, stating that it feels like stepping into a dynamic kaleidoscope of colors, an effect that has likely left countless newcomers and worshippers in awe.

The decision to grant the Grade II* status, according to The Guardian, reinforces the church’s architectural significance and its role as a spiritual hub that has evolved over time. This recognition not only celebrates its historical value but also underscores its ongoing contribution to the cultural and architectural landscape.

In music-related news, The Chemical Brothers have announced a headline DJ set scheduled for October at the renowned Amnesia Ibiza, as reported by The Guardian. Additionally, the duo shared exciting insights about their upcoming tenth album, “For That Beautiful Feeling,” slated for release in September, as outlined by The Guardian. Moreover, The Guardian notes that The Chemical Brothers have unveiled plans for their first official book, “Paused in Cosmic Reflection,” set to launch on October 26 through White Rabbit. This anticipated literary work promises a comprehensive retrospective of the duo’s illustrious 30-year career, offering a unique blend of personal insights and collaborative stories, as detailed in The Guardian.

Image Credit: The Chemical Brothers (Press) by Hamish Brown & Illustration by Ruffmercy / Provided by Outside Organisation


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