Treske Completes Commission for Manchester Cathedral
Church furniture specialist Treske of Thirsk has just completed one of the most significant commissions in its history.
The North Yorkshire company has designed, manufactured and supplied bespoke nave furniture for Manchester Cathedral.
The furniture has been described as “absolutely stunning” by Anthony O’Connor, head of development and fund-raising at the cathedral.
Justin Bartlett, managing director of Treske, commented: “We were honoured to be asked to provide the nave furniture, including the altar, for Manchester Cathedral. This was a very important commission for us, underlining our ambition to be the finest church furniture designer and manufacturer in the UK.
“The furniture, which comprises 58 different pieces, complements the cathedral’s magnificent new £3m organ. It was designed by Mike McIntosh of Treske in consultation with architects Martyn Coppin and John Prichard.
“The furniture is designed on a concentric basis, with the central focal point of the special altar positioned on the raised dais in front of the historic screen above the new organ. The altar is really special, using an historic British and extremely rich and featured rare burr Elm top, with bronze inlay in some of the fissures in the wood.
“Arranged around the altar are the three celebrants’ chairs and like all the other pieces of furniture are made from specially chosen European walnut veneer all taken from one tree. The principal items of the altar, and the celebrants chairs all have gold leaf applied to their exposed edges and in their grooves,” said Mr Bartlett.
Cathedral architect John Prichard explained: “Our brief was simple. We wanted new choir stalls, clergy chairs and altar table to complement our new organ. Treske had made a new Chapter House table for the cathedral which I had been involved with a few years ago. That had been well received by the cathedral which led me to suggest Treske was the correct manufacturer for the significantly larger liturgical furniture order.
“I really enjoyed working with everyone at Treske. We spent a lot of time working on the proposals for this commission and, I hope, it shows. In addition, Treske delivered on the budget on time. They were great to work with.
“Visually the furniture visually ties the whole central area of the Nave together, relates to the new organ and to the newly-laid floor. It is at least as successful as I had hoped whilst we were working on the job,” said Mr Prichard.
Anthony O’Connor, speaking on behalf of Manchester Cathedral, added: “The new liturgical furniture is absolutely stunning. We have been blown away by what Treske have created. Their craftsmanship was of the highest order. We now have a cathedral which is worthy of the UK’s second city and our new organ and furniture place us firmly on the world stage.”
Cheshire-based architect Martyn Coppin, who also worked on the project, commented: “The overall effect of the new furniture is to provide the very focus we sought and, with the new organ, enhances and transforms the nave without overpowering the space. The new lighting that is currently being installed will further strengthen the visual quality of this space and will allow some highlighting of key features. Similarly, the new sound system will significantly improve quality and coverage within the nave.”