The Chancel

The Chancel is one of the most sacred parts of the
church and is the location of the High Altar, reredos and choir stalls, although in St Mary's the choir normally sits
in the stalls in the under tower, closer to the organ and
the congregation.

The stalls in the Chancel are thought to be early 16th Century but were probably brought to Bampton later. They include some impressive carved misericords.

The Chancel walls and the semicircular arched doorway on the north wall (which leads to the sacristry and vestry) are Norman.

The area at the far east of the Chancel (and therefore
the furthest point east in the church) is known as the Sanctuary. Here you will find the High Altar, Reredos, Easter Sepulchre (on the north wall/left hand side)
and on the right a piscina with a trefoil headed canopy, and 3 sedilia with trefoil-headed arches supported on cylindrical shafts, all of which date back to the late 1200s.

The communion rail (at which communicants kneel in fron of the High Altar to receive communion during the Eucharist service) is a 19th Century addition.

The doorway on the right hand side leads through to the Horde chapel and an unused external door. The door from the Chancel is probably 16th Century.

Chancel Interior