the altar and the pulpit – then and now

Blueprints for original pulpit.

Our current altar had a previous life as a pulpit. The original pulpit in the main church was a towering platform from which preachers could thunder down at the congregation!  Actually, it was raised to offer a good view of the preacher for everyone in the church. Surrounded by beautifully carved oak panels, it was on the right-hand (or in the traditional Anglican terminology, the Epistle) side of the church as you faced the front. The pulpit was removed in 1992 when the church was remodeled and the floor of the then altar, or chancel, area of the church was lowered to be the same height as the main body, or nave, of the church. At that point a pulpit that high in the air would have been, well, ridiculous.  The pulpit’s oak panels were saved and stashed in the basement.

Original St. Mark’s pulpit in the main sanctuary.

In the late 1990’s, Rector Matt McDermott noticed the disassembled panels from the pulpit literally gathering mold in the church basement. He came up with a scheme to resurrect the panels. Bob and Pat Jenkins’ son-in-law, was hired to re-frame the panels into a moveable altar. Our current altar is designed to roll wherever we need it to go, and also to be just the right height that children gathered around it can see what’s going on.

The new altar!


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