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The Chancel

The scene behind the alter rail (with the exception of the two lovely 20th Century artefacts; the long kneeler and the altar frontal) is that which would be very recognisable to the congregation of post Elizabethan but prior to the English Civil war. It is Laudian in its composition.  Gone are the images and intricate decorations of the preformation church. left behind are the plain limewashed walls the altar back from its position in the nave and placed centrally against the east wall.  The remnants of the pre-reformation era, the easter Sepulchre, the ambury, the piscina (basin) and Sedilia (bench) hint at what went before.  The holy space is bounded by its original 17th century altar rail.

The Elizabethan settlement achieved a parting of the ways for church music.  Abbeys and cathedrals maintained the, albeit a highly regulated, choral tradition.  For Parish churches, music fizzled out in the late Elizabethan era only to re-emerge on the back of the popularity of Wesleyan music in the 19th century.  The choir stalls are a Victorian addition. Prior to the reformation the choir would have possessed additional misericords, for only ordained clergy could be present in the chancel during mass and lay singers would have performed from the nave at the west end of the church.

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