Circular Altar 1972 (LH 630)


travertine marble
diameter 255cm

This is the only piece of church furniture to have been designed by Moore. The commission was initiated by Peter Palumbo, a London property developer with an interest in architecture and contemporary sculpture. St Stephen’s had been badly damaged during the Second World War and Palumbo, who was also one of its churchwardens, invested a significant amount of time and money in planning the restoration. He decided that Moore should be chosen to design a new altar. The sculptor was appointed in 1967 but carving didn’t start until 1973 and the altar not in fact completed until 1983. The project caused some controversy, leading to a hearing at the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved to have it removed – only the second hearing in the organisation’s twenty-three year history, which needless to say ruled in favour of the sculpture.