SJ8398 : The Trinity Reredos

taken 5 years ago, near to Manchester, Great Britain

The Trinity Reredos
The Trinity Reredos
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.

(abridged from notes provided by Manchester Cathedral)
Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral sits towards the northern side of downtown Manchester, an area that has seen extensive regeneration and development in recent years. From the outside, the cathedral appears to be a relatively modern church, typical of the Victorian era. However, the main body of the cathedral largely derives from the 15th century and the present structure retains elements that are almost 600 years old and has even survived a bomb blast during World War II. Although the structure has seen its share of changes, these have taken place over hundreds of years, unlike the rapid redevelopment of the Millennium Quarter surrounding it.

Until becoming a cathedral in 1847, it was a Collegiate Church; its full title is “The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester”. Following the rapid expansion of Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, it was made a cathedral in 1847 and was extensively refaced, restored and extended in the Victorian period. All external stonework was replaced between 1850 and 1870 and the west tower was heightened in 1868. Consequently the cathedral gives the overall impression of a 19th-century structure. The cathedral also suffered a hit from a bomb in 1940, suffering the worst wartime damage of any UK cathedral apart from Coventry. Yet more restoration was needed after the IRA bomb of 1996 which exploded nearby.

The cathedral is a Grade I listed building (Historic England List entry Number: 1218041 LinkExternal link ).

LinkExternal link Wikipedia article about Manchester Cathedral
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SJ8398, 2721 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 12 December, 2014   (more nearby)
Monday, 15 December, 2014
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic Lumix TZ60 
Image Buckets ?
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8391 9874 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:29.1076N 2:14.6365W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8391 9874
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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