Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The ultimate, ultimate in portable altars

There have been a few posts this week regarding portable altars...the sort that a priest might like to add to his baggage allowance to enable him to celebrate Mass in Machu Picchu or Ulan Bator or, wherever.

Fr Z has a natty little number that neatly counterbalances his Colt .45 on the other shoulder and, someone else (many apols. I seem to have lost it) featured one also.

But this one, this portable altar, is the ultimate.

It is, if you will pardon the expression, a real priest's altar.

It is not for the Novus Ordo priest, it is not, even, for the Novus Ordo Ad Orientem priest.... is an altar for a real ale, red wine, pistol packing Tridentine Latin Mass priest.....see for yourself

This is not for the faint of heart...this is for Extraordinary priests!

 In the church of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Ignatius in the tiny hamlet of Chideock, Dorset, home to many fine English Martyrs, lies this 'portable' altar crafted out of finest English oak.

In the past, after the 1988 'excommunications' we had visiting priests in our part of Wales who celebrated Holy Mass on a wallpaper pasting table and that appears positively limp wristed when compared with what Fr Hugh Green and his confreres had to carry.

Incidentally, his fellow martyrs included Fr Thomas Pilchard, Thomas Salmon and William Pike, a fishy bunch, if ever...oof!

This church is undoubtedly the best in Britain (a proud boast) and it beats me why Joe Shaw and his merry men at the Latin Mass Society don't organise annual pilgrimages there...but then much of what goes on at the LMS these days is a bit of a ....OK, don't let's go there!

But please spare a thought and an intercessionary plea to these fine men who must have hefted this lump of an altar around the hills and combes of Dorset and its surrounding countryside.

They must have been a strong bunch, both physically and spiritually.

 Borne out by the fact that the executioner spent half an hour delving into Fr Green's body cavity in order to find his heart and afterwards, the soldiers played football with his severed head.

An account of his death is here at Supremacy and Survival blog.


  1. What you don't understand about the LMS is always the same. Our events are not organised by the office in London, but locally.

    1. That's fine Joe but why have they not used this beacon of Catholic recusancy as a rallying point? It's a marketing man's dream.
      Perhaps a kindly word from yourself might spur things along a bit.

  2. Ah good sir, I am the builder of the the portable altar you mock. I built my first portable altar at the request of a holy, hard-working traditional priest, to house the sacred altar stone from a chapel in the Cristeros era. He knows the Church is undergoing its Passion and he too may be asked to sacrifice his life for the sake of the definition of marriage. I custom build each altar painstakingly by hand with over 52 pieces of wood, assuring there are no blemishes or weaknesses. My altars are just as "ultimate" as the antique altar of Fr. Hugh Green - built with the same reverence and purpose and I fear they will be used in much the same way as they were in the 16th century. They are made to be as beautiful and durable as possible since they are made for the Glory of God. 90% of the altars I build have altar stones - which tells me a lot about the priests who are requesting them. Perhaps you might be interested in one for the same reasons?

    1. St Joseph's Apprentice - there is no mockery intended in my post. I was really trying to draw attention to the fact that the portable altar as used by Fr Hugh Green must have been far from 'portable'. It is large, heavy and cumbersome. You are undertaking great work in creating your altars. God bless.