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Set with a jug of wine, basket of unleavened bread, and a plate with one of the loaves broken onto it, the unopened table is unassuming and rustic looking.

Once opened however, beautiful inlaid designs are revealed symbolising elements of the Eucharist (Communion) and the Last Supper. In this form it becomes an altar. Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, is at the centre of Christian worship. It is a memorial to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The use of bread and wine mirrors the Last Supper where Jesus shared the same things with his Disciples.

Interesting facts

What's inside?

  • The table has four wooden leaves which you can open out to form a flat altar table. 
  • In the centre is a stylised cross, while around the edge are twelve circles that represent the twelve apostles. These also recall the twelve place settings around Jesus at the Last Supper. There are images of the wafer and wine used at Communion, and St Cuthbert’s cross.
  • In each of the four corners there are symbols that represent St Matthew (a winged man), St Mark (a winged lion), St Luke (a winged Ox) and St John (an eagle).

When is it used?

The Last Supper table is used during the Maundy Thursday Communion service which takes place the Thursday before Easter. During this service we recall the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples. It is opened to become the Communion table at this time.

Did you know?

  • The Last Supper table was created by artist Colin Wilbourn during his time as Artist in Residence at the Cathedral in 1987/88
  • It is made from 500 year-old oak reclaimed from the historic Belfry tower.

Follow the guided tour

You’re in: The Galilee Chapel You’re at: Last Supper Table Next stop: The Nave

  • Head up the stairs or the access ramp and through the door
  • Walk into the main body of the cathedral, this is called The Nave