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The internal work commissioned by Fr Kieron, with the Development Committee, was largely completed in good time.
The internal work comprised the following elements:
• The re-positioning of the font to a space in the main body of the church where it is visible to the congregation and will exemplify current liturgical practice.
• A new glazed and sound-proofed reconciliation room has been installed which is fully compliant with child-protection regulations.
• The current Sanctuary area has been reduced to a size which is more proportionate to the rest of the church and thereby created space for the new baptistery and allows extra seating capacity in the nave of the church. A permanent stone ambo has been placed on the sanctuary for the proclamation of the Word, and will be completed early in October 2010.
The first of the contractors, led by Robert Webb, photo-recorded the progress of their work, which involved firstly the removal and storage of Stations of the Cross paintings by David O'Connell; covering all benches, and building a dustproof "tent" while heavy machines were at work, on the altar.
These major changes are the first since the new church was enhanced in Fr Fox's time.
The most dramatic sight was the concrete cutter which removed the existing platform area.
In the Blessed Sacrament chapel, space was created for the new reconciliation room. New lighting has also been installed.
Once the surplus concrete had been removed, a new step was laid, temporarily covered with wood until the replacement black fossil marble strips arrive.
The font was removed on an "A" frame, and was swung into place onto the original base, in its new position.
In September 2010 a new ambo, replacing the wooden reading desks was installed. Brian and Peter Hearn (in check shirt), of System Design (for the sound), assisted by Owen McNally (in black) with his father Keith of St Richard's. The ambo was equipped with microphone and made ready for use in October.
The church was thoroughly cleaned, the Stations of the Cross restored.
See the new layout in the new Tour of St Richard's
All of the above has been achieved using funds already available to the Parish. (mainly from the sale of the chapel at Nutbourne).