History of the Sanctuary Renewal Project

Diary of events preceding the acquisition of
a new communion table for Leura Uniting Church.



25.1.13            Travelled by train to St. Scholastica’s, Glebe to meet Sr. Jill O’Brien, Good Samaritan Sister to talk with her about the renewal of sanctuary furniture.

4.2.13              Information prepared for the Worship Group

Renewal of the Sanctuary                                                   Worship Group     4.2.13

Sr. Jill O’Brien is a liturgist who works with architects to design and execute church furnishings. I have been in touch with her and she is willing to:

1.  discuss, with our congregation, the issues involved in renewing our sanctuary.

2.  work with an architect to produce the design we decide upon.

3.  execute the project.

When speaking with her, the possibility of placing the communion table in the centre, rather than in the sanctuary, was canvassed, with pews in a U formation, as this arrangement is more consistent with the concept of a congregation being a community, equally gathered.

She is a personal friend of the Uniting Church liturgist, Robert Gribben (now retired) who was responsible for the Guide to UC Worship and Living Stones.

We are on a trajectory towards making our church and garden beautiful and accessible and downright enticing to those who have not entered churches for decades, even generations.

The sanctuary is the symbolic heart of our faith – containing objects which represent its deepest meanings – the font, the communion table and the lectern.

To tackle renewal at the heart is integral to our “becoming” and “emerging” as a living, vibrant, visible sign to the world that we here, on our corner of Leura, are alive, committed, Christian and cosmological!

I will meet Jill again at the end of April and I would like then to have a definite date on which to invite her to address the congregation.

18.2.13            Above  information shared with Church Council

1.6.13              Sr. Jill O’Brien meets with congregation on Saturday at 2pm to talk with us about possibilities for rethinking the church space and renewing the sanctuary furniture.  14 people attended, 8 apologies.  LM’s introductory remarks follow.

9.6.13              Gwen Wilson’s comments following the meeting

14.6.13            LM met with Sr. Jill and Greg Norman, architect

25.6.13            Architect phoned re sketches of sanctuary furniture

12.7.13            Proposal for developing furniture received from architect, see facsimile of letter below

architects letter

18.10.13          Travelled to Grose Vale to meet with architect and Darren Oates, fine furniture craftsman, whose work is on display at the Leura Wood Gallery in the Mall.  Order placed for table.  See drawing below.

Communion Table 1

2.11.13            Notice put on church notice board.  “These are pictures of a table made by Darren Oates, fine furniture maker in Grose Vale.  A similar one has been ordered which may serve as a Communion Table for Leura.  The Congregation will have the opportunity to decide whether or not they wish to accept this gift for this purpose.”


3.1.14              Delivery of table to church.  See pictures below.




Sanctuary table


9.2.14              Bulletin item:  gives notice of a meeting of the congregation after church on Sunday 23 February to discuss the sanctuary furniture.