Celebration in Knaresborough with new altar in historic church

The historic 11th century church of St John’s Knaresborough has a new nave altar, thanks to local generosity.

The Bishop of Ripon, Dr. Helen-Ann Hartley, consecrated the new altar, made of oak and ash at a service on March 4th, The altar which mirrors the archaeological structures of the church replaces a chipboard altar on castors placed there in the 1970’s.

In the same service an altar frontal which includes a train crossing the viaduct at Knaresborough was also dedicated, along with a new noticeboard.

Team Rector, the Revd Garry Hinchcliffe says that the new additions have been welcomed by congregation members and visitors alike:

“The high altar frontal enhances and enriches the energy and glory of the east window bringing the light and life of the Christian message to all who gaze upon it.

“The frontal holds images that are intrinsically important to the people of Knaresborough and will be instantly recognisable to locals and visitors alike. The dove is copied from the dove at the top of the east window therefore bringing the subjects together as one. The blue ‘windows’ again incorporate the east window, but show on the left the diocesan coat of arms and on the right the town coat of arms… the bridge is the train viaduct, iconic to Knaresborough (with the River Nidd flowing beneath) and allows through the blue windows to draw a link, a bridge, between the religious and the secular.”

At the centre of the piece is the Celtic cross and rainbow, representing the significance of the area for the early church, with the Council/Synod of Nidd 705 and the life of St Robert of Knaresborough who died 800 years ago in 1218. It is framed by black and white checks… again a symbol of Knaresborough.

“The whole piece hopefully becomes alive and transformational with the darts of light and energy escaping from the cross in the centre,” added Garry

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