It was a pleasure to welcome Father Andrew Hutchinson to The Blue Coat School this morning. He has been the Chaplain at Solihull School for a number of years. The children were introduced to the ‘Trinity Reredos’ (pictured above) which sits in the Fraser Chapel at Manchester Cathedral.
The highly unusual reredos in the Fraser Chapel at Manchester Cathedral is designed to be thought provoking and challenging to the viewer. The painting is a celebration of the hidden presence of God in the midst of everyday city life. This twenty first century work is in the comic tradition of the mediæval misericords in the quire. It is by Mark Cazalet and was installed in 2001. At the centre of the painting, the Trinity are depicted as a modern family sharing a meal, not the bread and wine of Jesus’s day but chips and beer. In the background are the bridges of Castlefield. The altarpiece shows us on one side, the glittering shops of the city centre with all its wealth; and on the other side a world of poverty. To the left, the modern St George is freeing the dragon from chains with a background scene of a blighted inner city neighbourhood. To the right St Denys, a saint who was martyred by being beheaded is wandering through the city centre carrying his head under his arm. The spirit of monastic simplicity is contrasted against the spirit of consumerism driving the shoppers. (quoted from notes by Manchester Cathedral)
Father Andrew was very impressed with the inference skills of the Year 5 and Year 6 children in deciphering important messages contained with the image. The children enjoyed hearing how the painting is a celebration of the hidden presence of God in the midst of everyday life.
Father Andrew was also very impressed with the anthem sung by our Chapel Choir as well as the reading and prayers from James, Joshua, Emma and Hari.