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Parish Safeguarding Information

 

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Sunday Services

 

8.00am - Holy Communion

10.00am - Holy Communion

6.30pm - Evensong 

6.30pm first Sunday of the Month - Holy Communion

Weekday Services

Wednesdays - 9.30am Holy Communion

Thursdays - Bible Study 7.00pm at the Vicarage

A Big

THANK YOU!!!

Dear All

As many of you may know I have been in hospital and then recovering from an operation for the last few weeks.

By Mid-May I hope to be back in post full-time, although taking it a little easy for a while, and I wish to say a big Thank You to you all for your prayers and help during my illness - especially a thank you to all the Clergy and others who have stood in at All Saints to keep things running.

THANK YOU  ALL - 

Fr. Mark

A NEW CHAPTER IN OUR PARISH LIVES...

 

As of the 1st. of June 2019 the two parishes of All Saints, Pontefract and of St. Giles with St Mary will be united under the Banner Title of

'THE BENEFICE OF PONTEFRACT'

In practice, certainly for the time being, this will make little difference to our everyday Parish Life, but as we grow together under this new heading there will opportunities to do some things together that are best done together, whilst still retaining the unique strengths and character of our two Parishes, which will still continue to exist individually. Together our Christian Witness to our town of Pontefract and her People will grow and flourish.

 

The Video below is just a trial to make sure it all works. We will post a better one shortly, but it will give you some idea of the way the two staircases work.

All Saints, Pontefract is famous for it's Double Helix Staircase, which is one of only two in the UK (the other being at St. Edithas, Tamworth), and our's dates from C1280. 

Unique in having a single Newel Post from which spring steps for both staircases, it can be accessed from both a small door inside the building and a more normal sized door from outside the building. Both now lead to the Bell-Ringing Chamber.

The inside door was restored during the 1966/7 building of the modern extension that now forms the main Nave in the Church. Before that the inner staircase was filled with builder's rubble left from the 19th century restoration. 

Originally the staircase would have led all the way to the top of the 82 foot high Octagonal Tower, but today a long (very long!) stepladder has replaced the section from the Ringing Chamber to the old 14th century bell tower.

Today the staircase has 35 steps that form the Double Helix section, with a 'Drawbridge' arrangement where the two stairways meet, and the remaining 9 steps are now single in form.

Various theories have been put forward as to why a Double Helix was deemed necessary, but I think the most likely reason for such a complication was to allow access to the Tower from outside the building so as not to disturb any service going on inside, and also to allow access from inside during the service, perhaps for access to the Rood Screen.

Most churches of this age would have had a Rood Screen across the front, separating the Nave  and the ordinary people from the Chancel and High Altar where the Mass would be said.

'Rood' is old English for 'Cross' and to the middle of the screen and above it would have been a Cross / Crucifix, probably with Mary on one side and John on the other side. Access would be needed to these at special times to either cover them up during Lent or deck them out for special celebrations.

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