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THREADS LAID BARE

Fragments of stone and the rocks of tradition

By Rev’d Camellia Flanagan

North Coast Anglican 2018, No 5 (October), page 10

There are two ancient stones on the chancel walls of Christ Church Cathedral at Grafton.

From the beginning of Grafton Diocese in 1914, each bishop had been his own Cathedral Dean and the Grafton rector, the sub-Dean. Bishop Storrs installed Archdeacon Warr as first Dean of Grafton on October 16, 1949. Dean Warr left for England on November 13 for his first
visit home in 28 years. As a youth he was a member of All Saints, Fishponds, Bristol and following a visit, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol Cathedral presented him with an ancient fragment of stone from Bristol. The stone masonry design appears to be an ancient fleur-de-lis commonly used at the time as a symbol of Trinity.

The plaque on the south wall for this stone says: “AD 1215 Bristol. AD 1950 Grafton. This and the ancient stone above were consecrated by The Most Rev’d Geoffrey Francis Fisher MA DD Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England on November 7, 1950, Christopher E Storrs, Bishop A Edward Warr, Dean.”

A year later the Archbishop of York dedicated a stone and plaque for the cathedral to commemorate Australia’s first 50 years as a Commonwealth. The stone on the North side contains stone mason’s work depicting the Greek Key pattern which is a symbol of eternal time. The description on the plaque reads: “AD c.110. A fragment of the Norman Abbey of St Augustine, Canterbury, Kent, the gift of St Augustine’s College, Canterbury AD 1959,” and the plaque under this reads, “To the Glory of God and to Commemorate Fifty years in the life of the Commonwealth of Australia 1902-1951. This stone was consecrated by the Most Reverend Cyril Forester Garbett, MA DD Lord Archbishop of York, Primate of England on November 4th 1951”.