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Catholic Life

The Pope seen in seclusion

Apostolic Nuncio to Britain commissions Midlands-based bespoke furniture maker to produce six items for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit

By on Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Pope celebrates Mass in the Apostolic Nunciature during his recent visit to Britain. The altar, tabernacle stand and lectern were specially made by NEJ Stevenson

The Pope celebrates Mass in the Apostolic Nunciature during his recent visit to Britain. The altar, tabernacle stand and lectern were specially made by NEJ Stevenson

NEJ Stevenson, the Midlands-based bespoke furniture maker, is accustomed to receiving calls to fill prestigious contracts and help high-profile clients. Earlier this year, the Nuncio commissioned the firm to produce six items for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain. The Holy Father stayed in the Apostolic Nunciature on the edge of Wimbledon Common.

The commissions included an altar, lectern, tabernacle stand, two server chairs and the celebrant’s chair which bore the Pope’s coat of arms etched into the glass panel.

Following kind permission from the Papal Nuncio in Wimbledon, it is possible to provide an insight into the commission of the six dedicated pieces that were used by the Pope for private ceremonies while he resided with his envoy to Britain.

Neil Stevenson, managing director of NEJ Stevenson, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as the approved craftsmen for this historic commission. To be acknowledged by English Heritage, the National Trust, the Royal Household, the Palace of Westminster and now the head of the Roman Catholic Church for our design and manufacturing skills is a fantastic tribute to all the staff and the standards we have maintained over the last 26 years.”

Arnold Laver Timber World supplied Stevenson’s with timber. Prime European oak was specified, a timber that has natural appearance and possesses great durability, making it ideal for quality joinery applications.

The wood was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Arnold Muirhead of Glasgow provided the leather for the seating in hyacinth blue.

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