A heritage listed church in London, which was rebuilt after being bombed in World War II, has been restored in preparation for the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2018, including the installation of a new Bose audio system.
Sir Christopher Wren originally designed St Clement Danes Church on The Strand in London in the 17th century, and as the central church of the Royal Air Force, it is a living memorial to those who have died whilst serving their country.
The audio system needed to ensure a full congregation in the main church and on the balcony could hear every word that is spoken, as well as both recorded and live music.
But in a Grade 1 listed environment, this had to take into consideration the aesthetic requirements of the building, with speakers delivering quality sound without being obtrusive and cable runs being all but invisible.
Ashdown AV, a Bose Pro partner installed a system designed by engineers at Bose as well as working with audio consultant, Gordon Thrussell.
The installation included four Bose Panaray MA-12 line array speakers situated in the body of the church, with eight Bose FreeSpace DS100SE speakers placed above the balcony. Bass support comes from two concealed Bose Panaray MB12s and the system is driven by a Bose PowerMatch 8250 amplifier, with two linked ControlSpace DSPs using Dante cards to offer control from two separate locations.
Ashdown AV fabricated bespoke brackets for the MA-12s to give a clean finish where they are fixed and slightly tilted from the wooden panelling.
Liam Pickett, installation engineer at Ashdown, says the attention to detail meant that the project was a challenge from the outset. “The cabling had to run within the wooden panelling, and out of sightlines, and although we could remove some panels, it was a labour of love getting the system to blend into the décor of the church. The Dante capability of the Bose system meant that we could install a single cat5 cable and link the two processors via the network, thus avoiding additional cabling.”
Father David Osborn says that he can now look forward to services and other events at the church, without worrying that his congregation will be struggling to hear his words. “We have many events happening on a daily basis, from regular church services, weddings and christenings, to live concerts and official RAF services including the Laying Up of a Squadron Standard when a squadron is disbanded, or memorial services for those who have died whilst serving in the RAF. It is important to ensure that everyone is able to hear everything clearly."