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This the holiest part of the church. Here an altar has stood for almost a thousand years. Here bread and wine have been offered and the eucharist celebrated. Here countless generations of worshippers have stretched out their hands to receive Christ's life, the bread and cup of salvation.
The high altar is enclosed by fine black oak communion rails, carved by Peter Marsh of Eccleston and erected in 1665, to replace those removed by parliamentary order in 1641.
Around the sanctuary walls are 'seats for the communicants', placed there in the 17th century. On the northern side is a bench-end carved in the form of a griffin's head, symbol of the local gentry family of Bold and thought to belong to a much earlier period.
Above and behind the altar is a glorious gilded reredos, intended as a focus for devotion and erected in 1891 in memory of William Lees Evans of The Lathams, Whiston. The reredos was carved by Mr Gilbert, RA, to designs by C.E.Kemp. The centre panel is a traditional rood (Christ on the cross, attended by Mary and John). This bears the inscription: 'Sic Deus dilexit mundum' ('God so loved the world'). The four outer panels contain (clockwise) images of the Old Testament prophets Micah, Zechariah, Jeremiah and Isaiah.
A brass plaque bears the inscription:
Each type of Festival and Feast has its distinctive
colour - shown in the altar frontal, vestments. stole, pulpit fall and book
markers. The colours thus announce the Church's Year.
These are the main colours and their meaning:
WHITE (or cream or gold): The joyful Festivals, especiolly Christmas, Easter and Ascension. Also for saints other than martyrs.
RED is the colour of fire and blood, so is used for Whitsunday and for martyrs.
GREEN, the ordinary colour of nature, suggests God's provision for our needs - so green is for ordinary, non - festival Sundays. Advent.
Tel Vicar:- Tele No. 0151 426 6719 -