Church Tour Introduction The Lady Chapel Chapel of the Cross The Chancel Screen The High Altar The North Aisle The South Aisle The Main Body of the Church The Nave Altar The Font

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The Lady Chapel

The Altar in the Lady Chapel
The organ pipes above the Lady Chapel Altar and the statue of the "Rabbit Madonna" to the left.

The Lady Chapel is opposite the Chapel of the Cross on the south side of the church, the space being converted to a chapel for weekday worship in 1917.

 The Lady Chapel houses the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the tabernacle on the altar, and used for taking communion out to the sick. To the left of the small altar, located on the east wall, is a statue known as the “rabbit Madonna”: the work of an Anglican nun, Mother Maribel of Wantage. On the walls of the chapel, may be seen two modern painted icons, both the work and gift of Mrs Margaret Bell. Follow this link for a photo of the icon. The second depicts Christ as the suffering servant, and was presented by Mrs Bell to Fr Dennis Smith on the occasion of his Silver Jubilee of priesthood. Follow this link  for a picture of Fr Dennis with the icon.  

Mother Maribel of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin, Wantage. At the age of 15 she won a scholarship to the Slade School where she became an accomplished portrait painter. However, her work as a sculptress only commenced after she entered the Community in 1915. Her crucifixes, figures of Mary and the child Jesus, and figures for the Christmas crib can be found in many churches and cathedrals, including St. Paul`s. Some of her finest work can be found at the convent in Wantage, including her Stations of the Cross which were carved in mahogany over a period of 30 years. She was Mother General at the convent between 1940 and 1953 and died at the age of 82 in 1970. Saint Faith`s is proud to house one of the fine pieces of work from the hands of this remarkable nun, the Rabbit Madonna. Curiously, the figure of the infant Jesus has one toe short on one foot. It is said that, in order to discourage unannounced visitors so that she could better concentrate on her work, she allegedly had a notice reading 'Sick Cow' hung on her workshop door!  

Confessions are heard under the crucifix on the south wall of the Lady Chapel.

Above the Altar in the Lady Chapel can be seen one of the two sets of organ pipes, the organ loft being situated to the west of the Lady Chapel. The pipes were repainted and regilded some years ago.

The Lady Chapel houses one of the fine embroidered banners which grace Saint Faith's. This shows the Madonna and child and it is believed to be the Mothers' Union banner although the history is rather uncertain; when the Mothers' Union was dissolved the symbol of that body was removed from the banner but it was retained in the Church.
The "Rabbit Madonna". The Madonna and child with rabbits sitting each side, hence the name.
The banner which formerly belonged to Saint Faith`s Mothers` Union.

The Votive Candle Stand

For some time it had been felt that a votive candle stand would be appropriate in St Faith's but it was not until 1998 that one was finally put in place. It was funded by a legacy from the late Mrs Elsie Bell, a well-loved member of St Faith's, and by an anonymous donation. After looking at various mass-produced designs, it was decided that we should commission our own, and this was given further impetus when members of the congregation saw an attractive candle stand at Wakefield Cathedral. We commissioned Mr Robin McGhie, a local designer, and his drawings were eventually realised in wrought iron and brass by a local firm. The candlestand was dedicated at the start of the Patronal High Mass on 6th November 1998. Placed in the entrance to the Lady Chapel, it forms a fine and most welcome addition to the artefacts and the worship of St Faith's, and we are most grateful to all who made it possible

On the aisle wall near the entrance to the Lady Chapel is situated a framed portrait of the late Lord Runcie of Cuddesdon. As a boy, Robert Runcie worshipped and served at the altar here, beginning the journey which took him to become Archbishop of Canterbury. The photograph is signed for St Faith's with gratitude and affection. The fine stained glass window by the south porch entrance was commissioned and installed as a memorial to him. This link accesses much material about our most famous 'old boy'.