CANTERBURY HISTORICAL 

& ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY (CHAS)

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Lectern

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The brass lectern of a large eagle stands at the east end of the choir.  It was created by William Boroughs in 1663 to replace an earlier lectern destroyed in the 1640s, but has stood in its present spot only since the 1840s.  The eagle symbolism worked in several ways.  It is associated with John the evangelist, whose gospel starts "In the beginning was the word..." - hence the link between the bird and the written word.  In addition, the ball signifies the world, with the eagle spreading the word of God round the world.  Also, as it soars upwards, it came to represent the resurrection and ascension of Christ.  Finally, it served to emphasise the fact that the, in the Protestant church, belief would be based on the bible rather than the church.

 

What to see:

 

  • the eagle clutching a large brass ball (Images 1 and 2)

  • the pedestal of three supporting lions (Image 3)

 

Sources:  see standard cathedral sources

DL