The Parish Church of Saint Matthew Big Lamp ~ Newcastle
The Building - The Sanctuary
The   Sanctuary   is   set   on   a   level   above   the   Chancel   and   divided   by a   fine   pair   of   oak   rails.      The   floor   and   the   three   steps   that   rise   to the Altar are set with more Frosterley Marble. Behind   the   High   Altar   sits   a   stone   carved   reredos   which   was   the gift   of   Johnson's   family   and   colleagues.      It   follows   his   design found    after    his    death    and    is    reminiscent    of    the    one    in    the Cathedral. It   slightly   obscures   part of        the        great        East Window                     which fenestrates    most    of    the upper    half    of    the    East Wall.      The   window   is   by the     studio     of     Charles Eamer    Kempe    (1837    - 1907)   and   depicts   in   the left   half   a   Jesse   Tree    and in the right half an Arbor Vitae . The   walls   of   the   Sanctuary   are   clad   in   carved   stone   pierced by   a   stone   credence   table   the   sedilia   on   the   South   side.         The   priest   and   his   assistants   sit   at   the sedilia for various liturgies. On   the   North   side,   the   large   wooden   doors   open   onto a   chest   for   Altar.         Above   this   are   three   cupboards   for storing   items   associated   with   the   Liturgy   (in   the   past this     would     have     included     the     church     plate,     but nothing of material value is kept in them now). There   is   an   austere   beauty   to   the   Sanctuary,   broken   a little   by   the   colour   of   the   Altar   frontal.      However,   the area   comes   alive   as   the   Liturgy   is   celebrated   at   the Altar   .      The   principal   Altar   is   usually   called   “The   High Altar”    and    is    used    on    Sundays    and    major    feasts    at solemn celebrations of the Mass and other rites.