The school has been gifted a candlestand with origins dating back 300 years. It was designed and handmade by Jim Fitchett, son of Dr Marcus Fitchett, one of the eight original founders of St Paul’s Collegiate School.
The Pascal (Easter) candlestand has been the missing object from St Paul’s Chapel Services which are commonly used in ceremonies such as baptisms and events where candles are lit to mark significant tragedies.
Revd Peter Rickman says this candlestand has made the Chapel of Christ the King complete.
“The Chapel has never had this particular type of candlestand before,” says Revd Rickman. “Its presence connects us with Jesus ‘the Light of the World’, a light shining in the darkness of life when we need it the most.”
The candlestand is made from totara, donated by Peter Fitchett, Dr Marcus Fitchett’s eldest son, but it also contains two very special pieces of marble which came from St Paul’s Cathedral in London. In 1956, Dr Fitchett visited the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and asked if he would gift something for the newly proposed St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton, New Zealand.
He was gifted two pieces of marble that became detached from St Paul’s Cathedral in the bombing on 29 December 1940, the 114th night of the Blitz of the Second World War. But these pieces of marble have further history.
They were handcrafted over 300 years ago and were the original pieces of stone used in the St Paul’s Cathedral built in the late 11th century. This cathedral was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Stone and marble recovered from this building were used to rebuild the new St Paul’s Cathedral. These marble pieces from St Paul’s Cathedral built originally in 1666 and then rebuilt between 1675-1710, are now embedded into the Fitchett candlestand.
The candlestand was blessed and dedicated at a special Chapel service held on Sunday 27 June and attended by the Fitchett family.