Apse & High Altar Restoration

At the beginning of 2020, a fall of crumbling stonework from the apse (the windows around the High Altar) drew more urgent attention to the serious deterioration of the stonework in this vital part of the church.

To inspect more closely the damage that has developed over the years, and to remedy and safeguard the apse and the precious stained glass windows, a complex scaffolding must be erected with care over the elaborate marble reredos and canopied tabernacle which is the central feature of the sanctuary; then repair work will be undertaken on the damaged stone jambs, mullions and columns, with treatment and/or replacement of the iron saddle bars to prevent further corrosion and damage, and at least some minor repairs and cleaning of the stained glass windows (unless more extensive damage is revealed by closer inspection). The erection of the scaffolding will also allow for a cleaning of usually inaccessible parts of the apse, reredos, and stained glass windows.

Thanks to benefactions already given to the Rosary Shrine’s repair fund, we are able to begin this important work. We are currently actively seeking grants from charities, public bodies, and trusts to completely finance the significant cost of repairing, restoring, and cleaning the entire apse and High Altar.

The process will begin on 3 November, the feast of St Martin de Porres, and we entrust this project to his intercession. The whole area around the High Altar will be screened off for about 6 months; the Blessed Sacrament will be moved for the duration of these works to the tabernacle in the Lady Chapel; and the Mass in both Ordinary and Extraordinary Form (Dominican rite) will be said at the free-standing Main Altar in the sanctuary.

Please pray for a safe and uneventful restoration work, and we pray that we will be able to finance the whole project, by the providence of God. To this end, as always, donations towards our essential repairs and restoration works are welcomed. Please approach the Prior Fr Lawrence, or the Bursary Fr Toby if you’d like to help, or for more information about this project. Thank you.

Apse & High Altar Restoration

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