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A Triple Decker Pulpit

The Old Pulpit.jpg

The church was designed as an 'auditory church' with the visual and architectural focus internally being on the pulpit.  Made from mahogany, it stood some 3.5m (11ft) tall at the centre of the east end of the church in front of the sacristy and altar.  It was a triple-decker affair with the lowest level accommodating a desk for the clerk, a lectern on the middle level and the pulpit itself above that.  The preacher had commanding views of the entire space; everyone in the church could see and be seen with the acoustics enhancing the reach of his voice.


Later modes of Anglican worship emphasised the Eucharist, with the consequent downgrading in the significance of the pulpit and its dominance.  In 1888 authorisation was given by the Diocese of Chester for the pulpit to be removed, but wasn't taken down until some 20 years later,  possibly as a result of respect for its historic significance.


L.F. Herford writing in 1888 states:

"Since the first day when Wesley preached in Christ Church, which he did every time he visited Macclesfield, the pulpit has been looked upon as a sacred thing, which to remove or even touch would well nigh border on sacrilege."


Herford was writing sarcastically here as he seemed in favour of the church being 'upgraded'.  He got his way in the end as it was ultimately replaced by a much smaller pulpit, raised on a central pedestal and position to the south-east side. This was the case in many churches and allowed the congregation an uninterrupted view of the altar, with no clerk's desk or separate lectern. The sections of the pulpit that can be seen in the side chapel are from the later version,


The scale model of the original pulpit was created by Tim Brinton and Jim Magnall, Trustees of the former Christ Church (Macclesfield) Trust and featured in the local Macclesfield press.

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