A Walk Round the Chapel
The Doorway into the Chapel
The insignia etched into the glass, is the crest of Eggborough Power Station. The glass around the Holy Table was also provided by Eggborough. Both pits provided coal over the years for many of the CECB Stations, and it was Eggborough that the last train from Cadeby took the final extracted coal.
The Walls of the Chapel
They are mainly of firebricks salvaged by hand from Cadeby Pit. The bricks above the archways are from the old Power Station at Mexborough. Inside the tower are a mixture of firebricks from Manvers, Kilnhurst, Rossington and Hickleton Pits.
A competition was organised by Public Arts of Wakefield and eighteen artists submitted designs. Tony Banfield´s entry is behind the wheel, a splendid cartoon of the life of both the collieries and the community. The top window depicts Denaby Pit with the Power Station in the background, and with a street map of
Denaby as it was surrounding the pit head. Notice in the central glass area, the grey strata of stone which encases the coal, the red and blue shafts for ventilation, and below the miners working at the face. The red and blue colours represent these used on surveyor´s maps. Denaby came about because of the winding wheel, and through it can be seen the picture of life in the village. Peter Fry´s window is different, but no loss powerful. In his own words, ho hopes that the window will inspire people to contemplation. At the bottom is depicted the minor crouched in readiness, above him the pressure of rocks and earth, fractured yet massive. Through this, though, loads a channel, a ray of hope to the surface, and to the light. The top and bottom are connected by the winding rope from the colliery wheel, and actually provides the means of journeying from the depths to the heights, a symbol of resurrection.
The wheel was the last working one used at Cadeby when it closed. Since it weighs five tons, and spans 19 foot, it is not difficult to imagine the enormous feat of lowering it into place across the existing building, onto its prepared plinth. The crane driver did a fine job. It was thought impossible to salvage it in one piece since the headgear upon which it was mounted stood 120 foot and the whole wheel weighing 11 tons had to be blown down.
The prediction was that the cast iron rim would break and shatter. As you can see a spoke is bent, and behind the wheel near the rear door; there is a ragged edge, but miracle of miracles, it remained in one piece (Thank God).
Cockering was an old method of shoring up the roof underground. Looking up above the nave of the Chapel the split bars supported by cocker arms can be seen. The wooden pit props used as these arms are from Barnborough Colliery.
The Steel Gateways or Sections
The arched sections are from Cadeby Pit and are unique to that pit. They stand as ways in to the coal face. The two” goalposts” on either side of the Tower were made at Manvers.
The Minors´ Lamp Tower
As well as representing the minors´ safety lamp, the Tower provides light for the chapel, and at night time especially, servos to shine out to remind the people in Denaby and these passing through that we belong to the worthy tradition of coal mining communities.
The Holy Table
Constructed from mahogany, the Holy Table encases a one ton piece of coal from
Manvers Main. The side panels are engraved with the words of two poems written by friends of the Church Fund Committee at a time when the Chapel vision was becoming a firm intention.
The front of the table has a design by students of Doncaster Arts School and expresses our gratitude to those whom God inspired to help us.
The chapel cross is cut from the same magnesian limestone as that of York Minster and was provided by Cadeby Quarry. Howard Fenn, an ex-pupil of Northcliffe School, now a silversmith in London used his design of silver rising out of rock as a powerful imago. Limestone was one of the rocks crushed to minimise the danger of explosions and had to be broken in the mining of coal. From the harsh environment of work, and in the love and warmth of a Denaby pit house, miner and wife have given birth to mans wonderful lives.
People at the dedication today will boar witness to that silver thread, as Jesus´ silver was the resurrection out of death. For us it is to make a future out of present circumstances with the same spirit of dignity and love.