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a life in architecture - nigel mcculloch

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The Right Rev Nigel McCulloch is the Queen's Lord High Almoner.

Among his duties is to accompany the Queen when she distributes the Royal Maundy money just before Easter. He is also chairman of the Church of England Communications Unit, as well as a fine musician and a devotee of brass bands.

A particular favourite of his is St Thomas's Church in Salisbury. It was founded in 1218 and used by the workmen building Salisbury Cathedral. 'It was impressively rebuilt and beautified by Salisbury's wealthy citizens in the 15th century, 'says McCulloch.'It is a light and graceful building, which contains Europe's largest medieval Doom painting.' ( Doom paintings depict the Last Judgement. ) McCulloch also likes St Thomas's because it has personal associations for him. He was rector there from 1978 to 1986 and says it was 'the scene of very happy times for me, my wife and children'. He has been the bishop of Wakefield diocese, West Yorkshire, since 1992.

The bishop had to think rather hard when asked about architectural dislikes, and finally decided he would probably go for 'anonymous 1960s high-rise flats somewhere'.

But, returning to what he likes, he declares: 'The most stunning building I have ever visited is the Taj Mahal (above). I know that a lot of people say this, but it's true. It is the only building that, however much it's hyped, will still exceed your expectations.'

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