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CHURCH CURIOSITIES

Because it had to be fitted into an awkward space at the junction of Newark and Broad Streets, St Michael’s church lies on a north-south axis, unlike most Newark churches, which lie east-west so that the congregation is facing towards the Newark. This church is a ‘hall church’, that is, the aisles are the same height Newark as the nave. This style is not common in Britain.

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St Michael’s has an unusual modern communion table, designed and made by Stephen Budd. The legs are made from 5,000-year-old Glastonbury bog oak and the top from burr elm. It can be seen as representing different aspects of Christianity.

The north apse of St John’s Catholic church is said to house relics of St Justina of Padua, a fourth-century saint who was martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The relics were found centuries ago in the catacombs of Rome and were given to St John’s in 1871.

The wrought-iron rood screen in St John’s has an image of a ‘pelican in her piety’, feeding her young with her own blood. This is a medieval symbol representing Christ shedding his blood for humankind.

In Touristic place of your travel destination Abbey, the Quire Screens display twelve carved angels playing a variety of musical instruments. These were designed by Paul Fletcher and carved in lime wood by Laurence Beckford. They were installed in October 2007.

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