A SUITE of new furniture for Gloucester Cathedral has been completed at a cost of £90,000 and a service of dedication will take place this weekend.
The stalls complete the suite of furniture it has taken four years to commission and the final pieces to be installed were the new choir stalls.
The hand-crafted choir stalls are the most complex part of the suite and have taken the longest to manufacture. The specially-designed furniture is made from solid oak and features a decorative motif inspired by the Gothic arches in the Cathedral.
The choir stalls are an enormous success with the Cathedral choir. Director of music Adrian Partington explained: "For years, the singers in services in the Nave have had nowhere to put or rest their music. Some of the music weighs a good deal which has been a strain on the younger boys.
"The new stalls are very elegant and comfortable and the music desks are at the perfect height for most boys to be able to see both their music and watch the conductor simultaneously; and there is plenty of storage space for heavy items not currently in use, such as hymn books.
"The new choir stalls will revolutionise the choir's Sunday mornings. The fact that the choir has waited so many years to receive them will only enhance the singers' enjoyment of them!"
The new furniture aims to produce an attractive, streamlined treatment for the nave, in sympathy with the glorious architecture of the cathedral. The entire suite is made up of altar, communion rails, lectern, clergy chairs, choir stalls, exhibition panels, leaflet rack and Donorpoint machine.
The furniture was designed and made by Waywood Furniture Creation in Chipping Norton.
The new furniture was funded by the Friends of Gloucester Cathedral and from a legacy left by a supporter and cost £90,000 in total.
"Our Cathedral is one of the most beautiful in the country and it is very important that we respect its visual integrity," said Canon Celia Thomson, in charge of the Welcome ministry at the Cathedral.
"In commissioning this beautiful new furniture, we are continuing the tradition of employing the finest craftsmanship to the glory of God."
The service of dedication will take place during the Sunday Eucharist service on Sunday, November 25 at 10.15am. Special guests at the service will be the Dean Emeritus, the Very Rev Nick Bury and the team of craftsmen who created the furniture.