GDS ArcSystem for Old Lady’s facelift

Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, Christ Church, situated in Swindon’s Old Town was dedicated in 1851 and now enjoys Grade II Listed status. It was built to cater for Swindon’s growing population as the town became a centre of trade. The church, affectionately known as The Old Lady on the Hill, occupies an elevated position and its graceful spire is visible for miles around.

The church was recently closed for the first time in its 166-year history to allow major remodelling and upgrading of its interior.

Integrator Enlightened was invited to design and install a completely new lighting system that would best complement and enhance the beautiful interior architecture. The system was to offer flexible control over daily and specialist lighting states, at the same time as being economical to run and maintain. Director Simon Marcus of Enlightened designed an entirely LED system, the main body of which comprised GDS ArcSystem fixtures.

GDS ArcSystem was selected for its high CRI, consistent colour temperature, reliability and range of beam angles. A combination of more than 50 ArcPro 1,2 and 4 cell fixtures controlled via DMX were used throughout the scheme for key light, task light and to enhance individual architectural features.

Simon Marcus, director at Enlightened expands: “The installation has completely transformed the ‘Old Lady on the Hill’ by creating a warm and attractive environment that really emphasises the beauty of Sir Gilbert Scott’s Gothic Revival architecture. For example, a number of task lights in the nave and chancel were focused to give a scallop of lighting onto the stonework beneath the clerestory windows, whilst key light for the alter and eagle lectern was achieved by the use of two carefully positioned ArcPro 2 Cell 19 Degree fixtures.

“GDS fixtures were also used to individually feature light some of the church’s beautiful stained glass. It’s fair to say that the church has been completely rejuvenated by the recent programme of works and the new lighting system is central to this achievement. As always, working with GDS was a pleasure.”

Matt Lloyd, managing director at GDS adds: “In recent times, we have collaborated with our friends at Enlightened on a number of new lighting schemes for houses of worship, all of which have had a dramatic effect in enhancing their interior features.

“Not only are some of the hidden gems contained within the buildings now beautifully illuminated but in holistic terms, each setting now has a much warmer and more welcoming ambience. As the use of churches diversifies beyond weekly worship into a range of community-based activities, the need to create adaptable and attractive spaces within the buildings grows. Fitting GDS ArcSystem has minimal impact on the fabric of the building and offers the highest possible light quality, reliability and flexibility whilst simultaneously reducing energy consumption and as a direct consequence – very importantly in this sphere – costs.”


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