History

About the Church: The Lady Chapel and Other Points of Interest

newman09A statue of the Sacred Heart also adorns the sanctuary on the right hand side, while the Lady Chapel on the left was added as a gift from Mr Justice William O’Brien (1832-1899) in 1875. Entrance to the chapel is by two steps under the choir-gallery. The Virgin is represented as Our Lady, being assumed into Heaven and supported by two winged angels on a cloud. The Lady Chapel also serves as the baptistery and has three stained glass windows depicting The Nativity, The Adoration of the Magi and The Boy Christ among the Doctors in the Temple. The Lady Chapel also contains pictures of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, the Madonna and Child and St Anne with her child, Mary.

A bust of John Henry Newman, by Sir Thomas Farrell (1827-1902), has occupied a niche half way up the nave on the right hand side since 1892. Nearby, in the ante-church, is a medallion portrait in memory of Thomas Arnold (1830-1900) – professor of English and Literature at University College, and son of Dr Thomas Arnold, Headmaster of Rugby, and brother of the poet Matthew Arnold.

Beneath the choir-gallery is another recent (2004) addition, courtesy of Fr Pearse Walsh PP. This is an etched copper plate triptych by the Parisian-born Austrian-domiciled artist Michael Fuchs (b1952) depicting the Magnificat, Benedictus and Nunc dimittis.

The Church’s Telford organ is located in a small gallery within the larger gallery over the ante-church. Access is from the atrium and the design of the organ gallery replicates that of the choir-gallery in the sanctuary. Entry to the sacristy, which is located behind the sanctuary, is by a series of steps under the choir-gallery and by the double-doors on the opposite side.