The chairs in the Treske workshop, before they were shipped to Abu Dhabi.
Nick Hill

Treske completes £100k order with Christian church in Abu Dhabi

The leading Christian church in Abu Dhabi has purchased church furniture, worth £100k, from Treske, the award-winning Yorkshire furniture designer and manufacturer.

The bespoke church furniture is being shipped to St Andrew’s Church in individual crates from Felixstowe this week.

This new contract follows Treske’s £80k fit-out for the first Christian crematorium widely open to expats in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at Al Foah.

The family-owned business, based in Thirsk, designed and manufactured 425 solid oak chairs, an altar table, a solid oak pulpit, a wall cross and a credence table especially for St Andrew’s Church, with the St Andrew’s cross hand-carved into some of the furniture.

In addition, Trekse previously exported church and domestic furniture to countries including Japan, the UAE and the US, with exports representing about 5% of the company’s turnover.

Treske’s managing director, Justin Bartlett, said: “This was a very significant order from us, strengthening our presence in the Gulf region. The furniture for the Al Foah crematorium established our reputation in the UAE and we were delighted when it led to this major contract in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s second most important city after Dubai.

“Although the UAE is predominantly Muslim, there is a strong Christian community in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, mainly due to the large number of ex-pats who live there. It is a huge privilege to supply so much furniture to such a respected and popular church like St Andrew’s,” said Mr Bartlett.

The Rev Canon Andy Thompson MBE, the vicar of St Andrew’s commented: “I first encountered the work of Treske, when I visiting the Al Ain crematorium with Treske consultant Russell Clynch in 2010. I loved the workmanship of the furniture there and decided then, if it were possible, that I would love Treske to fit out St Andrew’s Church. We were at that stage, planning a major renovation of our properties and a complete rehaul of all our furniture was part of that.

“One of the little known facts about the UAE is that, although it is an Islamic nation, they permit religious freedom for the Christian churches here. St Andrew’s Church is home to over 10,000 worshippers every week. The facilities and furniture experience heavy wear and tear and, after 30 years of this, it was time to renew our place of worship.

“It took nearly five years to go through the process of building new facilities, recladding our existing buildings and one of the last things to be done was the interior re-ordering of our sanctuary. We looked at several manufacturers of furniture and Treske stood out for quality and for customer service. We are looking forward to completing the project soon, with Treske furniture being used by literally thousands of worshippers in the coming years.”

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