This is undoubtedly the oldest remaining part of the church building. Nevertheless, the original Norman windows on the north and south walls were replaced with the current ones in the 15th century. Traces of the old window outlines can still be seen on either side of the Priest's Door on the south side. The Chancel was seen as the domain of the clergy, and was often separated from the rest of the church by a Rood Screen, which separated priests from laity (ordinary people). However, whatever screen had been in place would have been removed during the Reformation.
High in the wall between the Chancel and Crossing is the rectangular opening above the arch mentioned in the section on the Crossing (Figure 8). Below this opening are the remains of two steps leading up to it. This was the approach to a Rood Loft dating back to pre-Reformation times, and would have provided access past the screen.
In the north wall of the Chancel is a doorway into the Choir Vestry, which was added in 1844. This is not open to the public.
At the east end of the Chancel are the communion table and altar rail. This is one of the key locations within the church as it is the place where the sacrament of Holy Communion is celebrated. The oak Communion Table and the Communion Rails, where communicants kneel to receive the Sacrament, are early 20th century.
On the evening before his crucifixion, Jesus met with his disciples and shared a meal with them, now known as the Last Supper. Whilst this was undoubtedly some form of Passover celebration (which Jews to this day celebrate each year to mark the Exodus of Israel from Egypt), Jesus reconfigured this for his followers as a commemoration of his death, with bread symbolising his broken body, and the cup of wine his shed blood. Bread and wine have been used by Christians as the perpetual remembrance of Jesus’s death ever since, and the Eucharist or Holy Communion is celebrated each week in Anglican (Church of England) churches or benefices (groupings of local Anglican churches).
Behind the Communion Table is an ornamental screen known as a Reredos (Figure 9). This was installed in 1906, but in the style of the 15th century, when English woodwork was at its best. It represents the Supper at Emmaus, flanked on the left with the figures of Moses and Isaiah, and on the right David and Malachi. The side wings (not in the picture) show St. Andrew and St. Peter on the left, and St. Paul and St. Barnabas on the right.
On the evening of the day of Jesus’s resurrection, the Gospel of Luke tells us that two men were walking from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. Jesus came alongside them but they did not recognise him. Once they arrived at their destination, they invited him into their home, where they offered him food. It was only when he took the bread and blessed it (as he had done at the Last Supper) that they realised it was Jesus. This is one of the several encounters followers of Jesus had with him after the resurrection, which have convinced believers that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. This is commemorated in the glorious call and response regularly used in church services on Easter Sunday - “Jesus Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!