Students using the chapel at a top independent secondary school are enjoying the use of a new oak altar table made by furniture lecturers and graduates at Buckinghamshire New University.
Wycombe Abbey School, in Abbey Way, High Wycombe, commissioned the University to create the three-feet-high moveable oak altar.
The Right Reverend Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, blessed the table before using it in a Confirmation service at the chapel, where it is now placed for Communion each week.
The altar table, which was designed to incorporate features of existing chapel furniture, has hinged leaves and purpose-made rubber-tyre brass castors in the bottom of two legs so it can be easily moved when not in use.
It also has a dressing rail and handle with plates representing a feature of the school’s crest. Two wrought iron crosses, in the pattern of the crest, are attached to the front legs of the table.
School Chaplain, the Reverend Jane Chaffey, said she had been impressed by the amount of ‘care, effort and attention to detail’ that had gone in to making the altar table.
She said: “This is a perfect fit for the chapel and is both beautiful and useful. Wycombe Abbey School and Bucks New University are near neighbours and it is fantastic that we are able to work together to produce something like this.”
The altar table was designed and made by Lecturers in Furniture, David Gillett and Alex Hellum, and BA (Hons) Furniture: Conservation Restoration & Decorative Arts graduate, Sam Hutchings.
Mr Gillett said: “It has been a pleasure to work closely with Wycombe Abbey School on this project. We feel the design and construction of the altar table captures principles that are central to the place of worship and the school as a whole, and we have been pleased to be able to incorporate a motif from the school’s crest in the design.”
Wycombe Abbey School has also agreed to pay a £100 annual bursary for five years for use by the BA (Hons) Furniture: Conservation, Restoration and Decorative Arts course at Bucks New University, which is part of the National School of Furniture, a partnership between Bucks New University and Oxford & Cherwell Valley College