For this church:
Bleasby St Mary
Features and Fittings
Altar and Altar Rail
The altar was made in 1893 by a local wheel-wright from a local oak tree in 1893. The paintings on the front are by another local parishioner
Four black cast iron double scrolled brackets support the altar rail. Each has a square base with a capital separated with barley sugar twist shafts. Within the scrolls there is a gold painted English rose. The wooden rail has a wrought iron hinge on the top.
In 1883 a tiled reredos was installed at the back of the altar, extending to the side walls and to the height of the east window about four feet high. It extends along the entire east wall and continued round onto both the south and north walls to the edge of the sanctuary. It remains in situ, but at some point most of it has been obliterated by paint. However, the area over the altar is visible and in good condition. It consists of three panels separated and enclosed by vertical columns of floral tiles. Each of the panels features a roundel, with a cross in the centre flanked by the IHS and chi-rho. Extending over the panels is a border with coloured lettering on a gold background:
The oak chair to the north of the altar is comparatively modern. It was made by a local person to replace a much older one that was stolen some time ago. It was made entirely from an old oak gate given by a Bleasby resident.
A small wooden credence table sits on the south side of the altar. This was presented to the church in 1944. A plaque is inscribed:
A small stone-framed piscina is located on the south wall of the sanctuary. It has a simple pointed arch and in view of the fact that this part of the chancel dates only from about 1869 it must have been installed in its current position at that date, but itself it is probably much older, and probably part of the original chancel. In 1868 Sir Stephen Glynne visited Bleasby and recorded that there was a “sedile” within the chancel but it is no longer extant.
Placed just forward of the chancel arch near to the north wall is a brass lectern. It has a central brass shaft rising from a tapered round plinth and base. The shaft is terminated by a globe on which rests the traditional eagle its outstretched wings forming the book rest.
The lectern was given to the church by the son of Mr R K Kelham.
Located in the corner between the chancel arch and the south wall of the nave the pulpit rests on a stone corbel base. This raises the pulpit about two feet above floor level and necessitates the need for three curved stone steps to gain access. The south chancel wall area to the rear and side of the pulpit are faced with stained pine boards, whilst the front comprises five carved panels set in a truncated octagon..
Located to the west of the south entrance the font sits on a stone plinth, which is faced with coloured ceramic tiles. The font is octagonal with a matching dark-stained wooden cover.
The font was a gift to the church by Mr R K Kelham in 1853.
There is a single choir stall on each side of the chancel. They are the same style as the pews in the nave. The stall on the south side however incorporates a reading desk at the nave end. Like the nave pews they stand on a slightly raised pine plank floor, but monumental slabs may extend underneath them.
The layout of the pews can best be seen from the plan of the church drawn by Ewan Christian in 1869. It remains unchanged except in the west corner of the north aisle, where they have been reconfigured to house a low table. The pews are of stained timber with little decoration except the top edges which are finished with a trefoil moulding. The pew ends at the front near the chancel arch and those facing the font have round piercing with inset quartefoils. The seating capacity is estimated to be about 200.
On the windowsill of the west wall of the aisle there is a carved wooden Mother and Child. It was carved by Henry Mein, a Nottingham architect and former resident of Bleasby.
The floor of the sanctuary was raised when the chancel was extended during the renovations of 1869. Currently the entire sanctuary floor is carpeted.
The church is illuminated by a number of wrought iron chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. Each one carries three lamps enclosed in translucent glass shades. Electricity was installed in the church in 1935.