A COMMUNION table designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh has been secured for its “rightful home”.

The elegant table, designed by Mackintosh for the church at Queen’s Cross, Glasgow, has been bought by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society for an undisclosed sum.

It was purchased, in a deal with the parish of Ruchill, along with alms dishes also designed by the architect.

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The deal has been made in the year that Glasgow and organisations attached to Mackintosh are celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth.

HeraldScotland:

Queen’s Cross Church is the only one designed by Mackintosh

When the future of the church, the only such building designed by Mackintosh, was secured by the Society in 1977, the furniture within the building still belonged to the parish – and this remained the case when in 1999, the Society purchased the church outright.

Until this point, officially the chancel furniture had been on loan.

Now the table, a key feature of the church and designed by Mackintosh as an integral part of the church design, is owned by the Society.

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The Society has recently, through its members, had a drive to raise £50,000 towards the cost of the transaction.

Stuart Robertson, director of the Society, said the parish had recently indicated they wanted to sell the table, so the Society is delighted to seal the purchase, which was confirmed yesterday.

“It is especially exciting in this very special year, when we celebrate the 150th anniversary,” he said.

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One of two alms dishes in Queen’s Cross

The seed imagery carved into the table is a reference to St Matthew’s parable of the sower in his Gospel.

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Roger Billcliffe, the Mackintosh expert, has written that “the items he designed for the church are not numerous but together they play a vital role in [his] integration of furniture and architecture, linking imagery in the stone sculpture with decorative motifs in the wooden furniture.”

Pamela Robertson, Professor of Mackintosh Studies, has said that Mackintosh’s design of the church’s chancel was innovative for its time, where instead of a central pulpit, he had a chancel containing the table.

She said: “The important role of the chancel table to the architecture is confirmed by its inclusion in Mackintosh’s original plan.”