Our Lady, 1926 (Faith Craft-Works)


The author of the 1923 History had already expressed the wish that the Calvary would be “followed by a statue of Our Lady” and the December 1925 parish magazine stated: “At last we are going to have the statue [of our lady] for which we have been collecting for some time past. One generous subscriber has helped us much. The collections from the Women’s and Girls’ Wards of the Guild have also been devoted to this object” About £35 had already been raised, with the total cost of the statue and pedestal projected at £40. It was intended as a memorial to the 1924 Mission to stand “outside the chapel of our Lady and the Resurrection” and it was hoped that it would be ready for Christmas or Epiphany that year

The January 1926 issue stated that “The ‘Faith Press’ were unable to get the statue executed by Christmas, which was rather a disappointment. But this is often the way with artists, and we shall not have to wait very long, as it has been promised by the end of January, so that it will be able to be dedicated at the Feast of the Purification, which will be a most appropriate day.”

The March 1926 issue stated it had “at last arrived in England from Italy, and will be dedicated on the Eve of Lady Day, Wednesday March 24th, at 8pm”. The April 1926 one described the dedication. It began with prayers and Keble’s hymn Ave Maria (English Hymnal 216), followed by special devotions and a sermon by Rev C A M Stewart. It also described the statue as made of oak, and slightly gilded. It had been decorated with lilies for its dedication, then veiled with all the other “ornaments” until Easter Eve. It concluded “A small blue curtain will hang behind it, which will be a more satisfactory background than the wall. We are not quite sure about the haloes above the heads of the figures. It may be that they will look better without them, but we shall see later on.” As can be seen in the above photograph, the haloes remain in place to this day.

The May 1947 issue stated that the statue was to be moved to nave, stating “We are getting an expert opinion as to the cleaning of the statue, and a new lamp has been ordered to hang at the side in memory of Ida Warrall.”