The Lady Chapel
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
sets of organ pipes, the organ loft being situated to the west of the
Chapel. The pipes were repainted and regilded some years ago.
The Lady Chapel houses one of the fine embroidered
grace Saint Faith's. This shows the Madonna and child and it is
to be the Mothers' Union banner although the history is rather
when the Mothers' Union was dissolved the symbol of that body was
from the banner but it was retained in the Church.
On the aisle wall near the entrance to the Lady Chapel is
framed portrait of the late Lord Runcie of Cuddesdon. As a boy, Robert
Runcie worshipped and served at the altar here, beginning the journey
took him to become Archbishop of Canterbury. The photograph is signed for
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'.