Altar of the Mysteries of Light, Walsingham, Norfolk
It is in the tradition of the Walsingham Pilgrimage Centre that large gatherings take place on important religious occasions, attracting up to 10,000 pilgrims at a time. The gardens at the centre of the Anglican College have been redesigned to allow the pilgrims to worship together in the open air. The new Altar provides the focal point for these events.
Our design for the altar takes its lead from biblical references, including the tent for the Ark of the Covenant and the fishing boats of the disciples. The altar is placed at the top of a slight rise providing an unobstructed view.
Four timber masts support a stretched fabric, rising in the centre to a steel ridge, with intermediate masts to the perimeter of the tent, held by cables with bespoke stainless steel fittings.
Beneath the tent, a timber screen is formed using boat-building techniques using cedar planks, with elegant timber ribs to the back side. Seats cantilever on stainless steel brackets facing the altar. The podium is built in dressed stone, containing up-lighters, which provide dramatic light in the evening. The simple stone altar, and engraved lettering were also designed by the practice.