Sutton Bonington St Anne

Features and Fittings


The altar table

The sanctuary

Being a simple one substantially made of oak with evidence of a small amount of damage by woodworm (now treated). Behind the table stands a memorial cupboard holding the frontals to the altar, used according to the appropriate feast. A simple wooden cross and candles in modern holders are left on the altar during the day when the church is unlocked. A brass cross, candlesticks, processional cross and alms dish for use at services are kept locked in the vestry. The 19th-century table lectern is made of polished brass and supports a copy of the priest’s service book. The book was originally presented to the parish church of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, New Basford, Nottingham at Easter 1956 and given to St. Anne’s when that church closed. A 19th-century chair is positioned to the left of the altar for visiting bishops and a modern chair to the right which is used for weddings. A modern sanctuary lamp is fixed to the wall to the left of the altar to show that the consecrated bread and wine are reserved in this parish.

The reredos

The reredos is situated behind the altar table with a surround which encroaches into the lower part of the east window, partially obscuring the stained glass. It is a magnificent carving by Earp of the Last Supper, in white alabaster with a matt finish and set in a local veined alabaster surround, dated around 1875-1880, suggesting its construction during the Victorian restoration and charged at £53. 3s. 4d.

The altar rails

Made of polished oak of box design, each altar rail is supported on a wrought iron pillar to the centres, the south rail secured to the wall and the north rail to the cabinet adjacent to the organ.


Both riddles are red hanging on hinged arms, an iron candle-holder is mounted each side of the reredos behind the riddles. No doubt these candles were used in earlier times when other forms of lighting were unavailable and the curtains withdrawn.

Rood screen

The chancel screen Detail of the
chancel screen

There is evidence of a previous screen from medieval times by the infilling of joints in the rood arch, this was removed around the Reformation of the 16th century; other damage to monuments and religious decorations may have been caused by later puritanical purges.

The present decorated screen stands on a low stone base, the uppermost course having inlaid quatrefoil panels, hung with double wrought iron gates in a typical intricate 19th-century design to bar the entrance to the chancel. The decorated late 19th-century screen has carved tracery in ogee supports. Installed in, or soon after the Victorian restoration it has foliage carvings uppermost and Tudor roses centred in the tracery.

Choir and clergy stalls

Choir and clergy stalls

The choir stalls were installed shortly after the restoration of the chancel in 1877; some are fitted with brass memorial plates to previous notable members of the choir. The pews are made of oak unlike the pews in the nave, which were also installed after the restoration, but constructed of pine wood.

Reading desk(s): (see litany desks)

There are two desks; each is situated behind the screen at the end of the choir stalls and forming part of them.

Litany desks

There are two litany desks situated between the screen and either side of choir stalls, these being contemporary with the stalls and forming part of them. There is not a separate desk.

The piscinas

Piscina in the
Piscina in the
south aisle

The piscina is installed in the south chancel wall, it is square headed and contemporary with the rest of the work in the chancel and is now fitted with a shelf to hold the communion vessels. There is an old piscina in the south wall adjacent to the pulpit and mostly lost during previous repairs to the south wall. This signifies the existence of there once having been a side chapel perhaps a ‘Lady Chapel’ at St Anne’s. The Reverend A. Clarke writes: ‘This indicates the presence of a side altar. This could have been for the use of a ‘Mass Priest’ whose sole duty it was to say masses for the souls of the departed.’

The sedilia

Sedilia Aumbry

The sedilia is situated in the south wall of the chancel and is now a window seat, being a recess by the side of the piscina. No doubt these alterations could have been attributed to the 1860 restorations. The window is a memorial to M. Tidmas who died in 1862.

The aumbry

The aumbry is built into the south chancel wall and was made locally by the village blacksmith for use in St. Michael's. It was made redundant when a stronger safe was fitted and it was given to St. Anne’s in 1983. It has simple fleur-de-lys patterned hinges and a mortise lock.



The pulpit The pews in the nave

Open and without sounding board, the pulpit was installed during the late 19th century (1898) and constructed of oak sitting on a colour washed sandstone base, accessed by two steps. The uppermost wooden decoration is of a carved vine, the lower panels carved in a simple medieval style, with a carved ‘SA’ monogram over a cross mounted on a centre shield. 


The pews in the nave are constructed of pine wood and typical 19th/20th-century pattern. Kneelers, made by ladies of the village hang on the rear of the pews. Some kneelers were made in memory of Dr and Mrs Swan and more were made in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

The lectern

The late 19th-century lectern (1898) is made of polished brass, having a heavy round centre column decorated with horizontal roundels all supporting a spread eagle and a copy of ‘John Brown’s’ Family Bible for the scripture readings.


The 14th-century octagonal font is carved sandstone having a flared base with quatrefoil decoration. A lead lined bowl holds a removable basin. The font is fitted with an octagonal polished pine cover; culminating in a conical centre point and inscribed:

D. D.

An original plain round font cover remains below the octagonal cover. The paschal candle is kept near to the font for use at baptisms from Ascension Day until the following Easter, when a new one is lit at the front of church. 

Benefactions board 

Secured to the south wall, high up at the west end, the benefactions board is barely readable.

The text reads:

Belonging to this Parish
This Town roll (5, Pr Annum)
Arising from Rent Charges
On several Cottages to be
Distributed on Good Friday by
The Rector &c. -- Mrs Bramley
Gave 5 annually forever to be
Distributed in Bread on St Thos
Day to poor widows & widowers in
The manner above mentioned

Wall hangings

The banner of the St. Michaels’ & St Anne’s Sutton Bonington Mothers Union hangs on the north aisle wall. A display celebrating the Millennium Year 2000 hangs on the south aisle wall, this comprises a patchwork and embroidery map of Sutton Bonington with needlework pictures of most of the village buildings and activities of that year.

A framed list of previous incumbents is displayed on the west wall and a village map adorns the west end of the south wall.