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Reordering of the Sanctuary of the

Cathedral Church of St Mary of the Assumption


Bishop Hugh has initiated the processes of reordering St Mary’s Cathedral Sanctuary to enhance the general appearance and provide a new focus on the sanctuary cross above the altar, the tabernacle and the cathedra (the bishop’s chair). 

The project will consist of two stages:

  • The first: Creation and suspension of a new hanging icon cross – based on that of San Damiano – above the altar. 
  • The Second: Moving the Bishop’s Chair to the left of the Sanctuary and locating the Tabernacle where that Chair currently is. The ambo can then be moved to the right-hand side.

This project will be financed entirely by donations.



Phase 1

New Icon Cross

Replace the present grey fibreglass cross hanging on the East wall with a life-sized icon cross suspended over the altar. This new cross, painted identically on both sides, will be created by iconographer, Martin Earle (see below), and suspended from the arch over the main altar.


St Damien Cross.jpg


It is hoped that the new Cross will be blessed early in the New Year


Phase 2



The location of the tabernacle will move from its present location at the side aisle to the centre of the sanctuary against the back wall, where the bishop’s chair is presently situated. It is proposed that a new tabernacle be created.


The location of bishop’s chair would be moved to the left of the sanctuary, at the intersection of the two archways, where the present credence table is located. A new, more decorative, cathedra would be crafted for the purpose.


This will be moved to the right-hand side of the sanctuary, so as not to block the view of the bishop. It is proposed that a more dignified ambo or lectern be created to highlight the importance of the Word of God.


The aumbry is where the sacred oils are reserved. At present the oils are kept in the sacristy.

An aumbry will be crafted (the image below is only an example) and placed where the tabernacle is presently located. In this way the sacred oils will be rendered visible to all.



Sanctuary schematic 2.jpg



If you would like to support this project you can make a donation here.