St Matthew

Features and Fittings

When St Matthew’s, Talbot Street, closed in 1954 many of the fittings were placed in storage and later transferred to the new church of St Matthew’s on the Hill, Bestwood. Some are still in situ there; others have disappeared. There are photographic records of a few of the items mainly taken several years ago at the Bestwood church.

The Bestwood church sufered a serious fire in 2009. Some damage to the fittings is inevitable.


The font has a double octagonal chamfered plinth supporting the central shaft. The bowl is also octagonal each face bearing the same motif, an inverted triangle imposed upon a trifoil of equal proportion. The base was the foundation stone of St Matthew’s, Talbot Street. Both font and base serve the same purpose in the Bestwood church. It had a wooden cover with an iron ring handle at the centre of an iron cross. The font appears blackened by the recent fire, but otherwise undamaged.


The seating was stained deal pews with panelled backrests, the number and configuration is unknown. An old photograph shows the nave pews with pointed ends extending above the level of the book-rests. It is known that the pews were transferred, but images taken at their new home show flat ended pews with a plain capping. They are shown painted white for their new church. At some later date those in the nave at Bestwood were replaced with chairs At least four of the old pews remained unpainted, but with the ends treated as those in the nave, they were used as the choir pews and again are fire blackened, dusty but survive.

Wooden lectern

The wooden lectern survives. It is stained wood with a cross base supporting a carved shaft strengthened by four carved cantilevers resting on the base. The book-rest is plain wood supported by four carved brackets set within the upper part of the spine.

Eagle lectern

A substantial heavily carved wooden eagle on a turned wood base stood at the junction of the south transept and the nave. It was an awesome creature resting on a squared pad with carved foliage branching from the column to each corner and a rose filling the space between. The column is either painted wood or polished stone. At its present home at Bestwood it sits on a modern base.


The pulpit was located under the north - west transept arch. It is said to have been made of stone and also to have been one of the transferred items. It is no longer extant.

Oak chairs

It is not known where this pair of identical oak chairs were located within the old church, but it is likely that they were. They were probably for the use of the bishops and other visiting clergy and housed in the sanctuary. Both are made of medium stained oak, with planked seats and back rests. The legs are decorated with chamfered edges with arched panels between the upper part of the front legs and the seat. A single quatrefoil pierces each panel. The arm caps have carved decoration.

Other fittings identified from records

A new dorsal cloth, hangings and side curtains in blue for the altar were given by Mr TH Stennett in 1930 in memory of his daughter.

The altar table was also said to have been transferred