Christ Church Interior

  • As you look along the nave you see rather plain, utilitarian pinewood pews. However, the clergy and choir stalls and the pulpit are completely different. They are more elaborate, made of oak and carved in ‘Edwardian gothic style’. Beyond the stalls, in the Apse, there is a carved altar. The dossal screen is particularly elaborate. The table itself is carved but one only sees it during Lent when all the altar cloths are removed. We know who carved the altar but it is not sure whether the same person carved the stalls but there is some stylistic similarity so it is reasonable to assume they were done by the same person. During the early 20th century much of Christ Church was renovated and this work was completed in 1916. The altar is believed to date from this time. The master carver was Major General Thomas Rennie Stevenson C.B. of Sunnyside, Lanark. He died in his 83rd year, a fortnight after a disastrous fire at Sunnyside in 1923. Sunnyside had full of his carvings. At his memorial service, the Rector of Lanark, Dean in Thrum, said, “Half a lifetime of quiet, happy work ruthlessly destroyed in one night. We are happy here in this little church that we have with us some precious specimens of that loving workmanship which we shall treasure. Half a lifetime’s work destroyed in a night and a home quelled by fire.” Major General Stevenson was born in Braidwood House near Lanark. He joined the 67th Regiment in 1861 and was attached to the 87th Royal Irish Fusilliers in 1863 and commanded the regiment in 1899. So Magor General Stevenson has left his memorial in the carvings in Christ Church. He was interred in St Kentigern’s Cemetry at the top of the town. (researched by David Jenkins 2006)

    The Dossal Screen is worth a closer look as it is intricately carved with the words “Ave Crux”, hail the cross, painted in red and gold. It is adorned by four beautifully carved angels with two further angels holding shields at each side. One shield displays the chalice and a paten (plate). This is the insignia of the Episcopal Church.

    The beautifully carved architrave above the church doorway should also deserves a closer inspection as does the golden Eagle Lectern.