Wednesday, August 26

1901: The Whiteside Altar reconsecrated

On this day in 1901 the altar in the Whiteside Chantry (pictured) was reconsecrated. This is somewhat unusual, and the circumstances surrounding it are not entirely clear. Here is Canon Billington's account of the altar's history: "The altar was first consecrated on October 5, 1859, by Dr. Turner, Bishop of Salford. The front has two panels, each containing the figure of an adoring angel. The reredos has a carving of the Agony in the Garden, by Lane of Birmingham. The dedication is to the Agony of our Lord and the Apostles John and James the Great. On August 26, 1901, the altar was reconsecrated, the lid of the sepulchre containing the relics having been broken and the relics damaged; other relics had to be substituted, viz. some of SS. Felix and Placida, martyrs." It remains a mystery as to how the relics could have been damaged.

Canon Billington gives little other detail about the Whiteside chantry, other than reproducing the text of the Whiteside memorial on the far wall and commenting that the railings are more elaborate than those in the neighbouring Coulston chantry. A final remark notes that the chantries cost between £500 and £560 each.