Contemporary Arts & Crafts in the Church

Melbourne Church holds a number of works of art and craftsmanship from the past century, as well as its wealth of ancient architecture.
Items 4, 6 and 8 were exhibited at the Melbourne Arts Festival – the church is one of the venues. (

1. Stained glass window in the narthex at the back of the church, dating from 1953 and showing the Blessed Virgin Mary and the child Jesus.  The window was given in memory of Edith Collyer and designed by F W Cole.


2. Cross on right hand wall at front of nave, made by Ronald Pope, a local sculptor.


3. “Man and Woman” (1963) is another of Ronald Pope’s works and is located in the Lady Chapel to the left of the altar.  It was donated to the church in 2014 by Robert Thorne and Elizabeth Robinson, in memory of their mother, Marjorie Thorne, who grew up in Melbourne and was a friend of the Pope family.


4. A pair of slate benches made by Andy Oldfield of Chesterfield (who also made the Thomas Cook memorial in Melbourne).  They are engraved with various local place names. (

5. The cushions on the benches were made by Maggie Kershaw and the late Erica Stewart, in memory of Harry Stewart; the pattern matches the pew kneelers made by members of the congregation.


6. The nave altar, credence table, communion rails and president’s chair were made in 2012 by Nicholas Hobbs of Wirksworth.  Some of the oak in the furniture came from the nearby Staunton Harold Estate. (


7. “The Red Cup,” painted by Michael Cook, hangs at the east end of the south aisle.  Michael is a gifted local artist and this painting is one of a series, “Twelve Mysteries,” depicting fringe characters from gospel stories. (


8. The Royal Oak Candlestand was made by Josh Burrell in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.  Josh’s father had previously made the rails around the tower at clerestorey level and the iron screen in front of the dummy organ pipes in the south aisle.

“The second son of a blacksmith and a jeweller, Josh was brought up with metalcraft in his blood.  Taking a lot of inspiration from the natural world as well as looking back to master craftsmen of centuries before him, he uses the innate sensitivity towards his materials gained from his early exposure to coax the metals he uses into performing to their highest capacity. With examples ranging from decorative interior work such as this piece to large external gates or railings and even to practical blade-smithing and jewelling work, Josh has a vast wealth of experience and undeniable competency in his craft.” (





9. Green, white and purple sets of Eucharistic vestments were made by Mrs Olive Webster and others, along with two altar book cushions and the aumbry curtain in the Lady Chapel.


10. In 2013, to mark the 20th anniversary of Mrs Webster’s death, her son, Steve, commissioned a set of red vestments from Juliet Hemingray of Derby.  The design is known as the “Melbourne Cross” and is found in the carving on the capital of one of the stone piers in the nave. (


11. The same design is used on the hood of a cope made for the church by the St Martin Vestment Company, and on a purple altar frontal used in Advent and Lent.


12. Handrail at south door made by the Melbourne blacksmith, David Tucker in 2014. This was a gift from the Friends of Melbourne Parish Church.








13. Further outstanding craftsmanship is found in the 2013 renovation of the derelict Rectory outbuildings by Alan Staley Building Contractors Ltd to create St Michael’s House, another Arts Festival venue.  Another of Michael Cook’s paintings hangs there. (