Use of Expert Advice
SIR,-There is a good deal in what Mr. Sell says in his letter to you on the need for art corn missions to assist in church building today. Something of the kind is obviously necessary to act as a guide in the controversial matter of taste. But this form of activity should surely be confined to one of protection against the otherwise unchecked erection of churches whose designs are bad, or unnecessarily elaborate or pretentious the last two being, in addition, unnecessarily expensive. Committees do not produce good designs as a rule; only an individual mind conceiving his design as a whole is likely to do that. The function, therefore, of a commission should be critical, at most suggesting-not imposing-possible lines of improvement where this is called for. It further means, of course, that the clergy, burdened as they arc with the day-to-day running of a diocese or a parish, and entrusted by their people with the spending of very large sums of money on buildings meant to last in ,pers petuity, have some independent, outside judgment to lean on, instead of, as is often the case, tending to take the line of least resistance and accepting uncritically whatever their architect may feel inclined to give them.