Those who attended July’s celebration weekend at Mirfield – and, indeed, those who have read the new Church of the Resurrection book – will be aware that the one major commission outstanding for the Community Church is a new High Altar. The process of identifying the stone and the craftsman to work it has been protracted, as we wanted to ensure the design and materials are ‘right’, and there were a number of hiccups along the way.

We have agreed that the altar should be made of Mandale fossil limestone, quarried in the Peak District, and James Elliott – whose recent commissions include the tomb of Richard III in Leicester Cathedral – has been appointed to undertake the work.

The stone is medium grey, perhaps leaning towards light brown, in colour, and the ivory coloured fossils it contains were laid down in the sedimentary bedrock during the carboniferous period – around 365 million years ago. The fossils are mainly crinoids, brachiopods, corals and even occasionally shark’s teeth! In tune with the whole artistic scheme of the church, and the Stations of Salvation, we wanted an altar that would speak to people of the immensity of the ages, and that ‘a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday’.

There is, inevitably, a cost to finishing and installing the Altar in time for the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the completion of the Community Church in July 2018. We have already received generous support, meaning that we need to find another £10,000 to pay for works in full. If you would be interested in supporting this work, and making a lasting contribution to a focal point of the worship of the Community and our guests, please do be in touch.

George CR