Our Chapel

Last updated: 22/03/2019

Our beautiful chapel is situated at the heart of our school with Christ ever present. 

“In the chapel pupils and staff can find a peaceful area where they may commune with God. The Chapel, open at all times to everyone, is a place for worship, contemplation and peace. Say a prayer, light a candle or write a reflection in the visitors’ book.”
— Mrs Findlay

What our chapel is used for

In our Chapel there is:

  • Morning Liturgy at 8.20am every school day

  • Weekly Mass lead by a nominated Form

  • Welcoming Liturgies for all staff to mark the start of a new school year

  • All Souls service

  • Voluntary Ashing service

  • Provision during exams and times of stress

  • Special services

  • Morning prayer and Liturgy during form times

Photo: Brass Plaque outside the Chapel

About our Chapel’s paintings

The artist Kate McCrickard was commissioned to paint pieces for our chapel, which was blessed by Bishop Konstant in 2001. Kate is a former pupil of St. Mary’s who graduated with a first class honours Master of Arts degree. She was then awarded scholarships from the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy that took her on to paint in Madrid and Florence. Today she has a studio in New York and is a director of a Manhattan art gallery.

In the Stations (shown below), the bare wood works its way from side to side of each painting in a “path” towards the Crucifixion where new leaves spring from it. As we follow this path among stark, still figures, the surrounding colours change from vivid red to sombre black and back to passionate reds and celebratory gold with the Resurrection, all part of a progression intended to help us reflect upon the mystery of love and new life that is at the heart of our faith.

The large altarpiece (shown below) prefigures the Crucifixion by showing the young Jesus and his mother standing behind the felled trunk of a tree. They gaze at us and into the future. Strong, adult features are beginning to emerge on Jesus’ slightly anxious, questioning face. One of Mary’s hands grips her son’s fingers while the other touches the wood that will become his cross.

The painting below was originally commissioned to hang in the main entrance. Today it can be viewed in our Main Hall (room M1). Mary, our Patron, is depicted offering up a model of the school and is surrounded by rich symbology, both ancient and modern, linked to all of our feeder parishes. See our Collected Book (in the chapel) for further details.

Stained Glass Window

The stained glass window in our Chapel commemorates the life of John Martin, a teacher at St. Mary's until 2001. It was sponsored, made and fitted by Stewart Burrows, a former student and was dedicated by Bishop Arthur Roche in 2005. The design, a dove bearing an olive branch, was the winning entry from a competition run in school. The dove is the symbol of St. Mary's Chaplaincy.

Photo: Outside the school, showing the stained glass window in our chapel

Photo: Outside the school, showing the stained glass window in our chapel