Turning right and continuing into the Chancel, you see the High Altar on the east wall (to the left). Beautifully carved English brown oak forms the Altar's base, while the top, a single three-inch thick slab measuring nine feet by three, is red Belgian marble quarried in the Ardennes.
The Reredos behind the Altar was placed in the Cathedral in 1923 by the family of Llewellyn Jones, 4th Bishop (1878- 1917). Carved from two kinds of freestone, it was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, grandson of Sir George Gilbert Scott, the Cathedral's original architect. This screen includes eleven pieces of statuary, with Christ in the centre and two angels at each end. On the left side (from left to right), stand St. Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury 668-690; St. David ( 540), patron saint of Wales; and St. Michael the Archangel overcoming Satan. Continuing on the right side (from left to right) stand St. George, patron saint ofEngland; St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland; and St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, holding a shamrock.
Above the Reredos is the East Window (1911), "The Tree of the Church," which is comprised of five lancets and five rose windows. In the uppermost rose is the Holy Spirit, represented as a dove. The central lancet depicts Christ the King, with St. John the Baptist below him. On either side, in the upper portions of the two adjoining lancets, are four angels who surround the image of Christ the King. Below them on the right are St. Paul with a sword and St. Aidan, an early Celtic missionary, holding his abbey of Lindisfarne. The lancet on the extreme right contains the martyr St. Cyprian of Carthage (oddly labelled "Cyril"), St. Athanasius of Alexandria, a Doctor of the Eastern Church, and St. Ambrose of Milan, a Doctor of the Western Church. Beneath the angels on the left are St. Peter, holding the keys of the Kingdom, and St. Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury. On the extreme left are the early martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch, with the chains of his imprisonment, St. John Chrysostom, another Doctor of the Eastern Church, and St. Augustine of Hippo, a convert to Christianity and the Western Church's greatest Doctor.
The Kneeler at the Altar Rail is the handiwork of the ladies of the C.E.W.A. (Church of England Women's Association) in the 1930's. Other kneelers and chair cushions in theSanctuary, along with those belonging to the Canons' Stalls in the Chancel, are the work of the Cathedral Altar Guild during the 1970's and 1980's. On the right side of the Chancel stands the ornately carved Bishop's Throne. Its Latin name is cathedra, giving us the word "cathedral," which means the building where a Bishop has his seat. The gables of its canopy are decorated with oak leaves; on the front are small figures of St. John the Baptist, the Cathedral's namesake, and St. Augustine of Canterbury, with Christ crucified between them. The Bishop's Throne, as well as all other woodwork in the Chancel and the Eagle Lectern, was designed by Gilbert Scott and executed in oak by Harry Hems of Exeter.
On the left of the Chancel is the console for the Organ by Casavant Frères of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec (installed 1927); the case is a Carnegie benefaction. There are about 3,500 pipes controlled by four manuals (keyboards), a pedal board, and 56 stops. The dark pipes on either side of the chancel were part of the earlier English (Hope-Jones) organ of 1904. Herald angels grace the ornate casing.
Next on the Tour: The Sacristy