Work is taking place in the church this week, to replace the main altar.
The old one was taken away on Monday, leaving quite a void in the church, which is a good reminder that the altar is the focal point of our celebrations: it represents Christ, it is where His Body and Blood are made present for us, and it is on the altar that His sacrifice on the cross is celebrated.
The good news is that the new altar should be in place before the weekend. In one sense, it is not new at all, since it was used in the 'hut' where Mass was celebrated before the current church was built. When the present St Clare's opened it was placed in the side chapel, but it was too big for the space and was taken out some months ago. The hope is that, placed in the main church, it will enhance the diginity of the sanctuary. We will also be able to reuse some of the marble from the removed altar to clad the lower half of the lectern. This work was planned by Fr Loughran before he moved to Carlisle, so it is good to see something of his vision coming to fruition this week.