The Lady Chapel

The aisle which now forms the Lady Chapel was built in 1859 to provide accommodation for the children from the Royal Commercial Traveller’s School which opened in Hatch End in 1855. The monuments on it were transferred on to the new south wall of the aisle. A replica of the early English Lancet window, which was lost when the chancel wall was taken down, was inserted into the new south wall. The most noteworthy memorial is that to Sir Christopher Clitheroe (1685), attributed to William Stanton. Beneath the monument is the representation of a skull with the lower jaw missing, signifying that Sir Christopher left no male descendant. The aisle was dedicated to its present use as a Lady Chapel in 1938 by the Bishop of London. The East end of the chapel assumed its present aspect only in 1976 when the old organ was dismantled, thereby exposing the long-obscured four-light east window and also enabling the present, more dignified layout of the chapel to be made. The glass in this window, which was designed and made by a studio in Kings Langley, was presented in 1980 by a parishioner as a memorial to his wife. 

East Window of Lady Chapel

The Iconography of the four-light decorated style East window of the Lady Chapel.

The central scene depicting the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary appears in the two middle lights of the window. The scene is placed in an architectural setting to indicate that the event took place in a building (Mary’s house) and not out of doors. The Madonna and the Angel Gabriel are both shown standing. Beneath the figure of the Madonna is a vase containing white lilies. The lily, which is a symbol of purity, is an attribute of the Blessed Virgin and is especially associated with the Annunciation scene. In the outer right hand light the dove is seen descending towards the figure of Mary in the Annunciation theme.

The dove is the Christian Symbol of the Holy Spirit and in this sense it always appears in representations of the Annunciation. Beneath the dove the Virgin and Child are portrayed in full faced frontal position which derives from Byzantine art. The Virgin is shown wearing a blue garment, blue being the colour symbolic of heaven. Enthroned and crowned as Queen of Heaven (Regina Coeli) she is holding the Christ Child before her. A blue nimbus encircles the head of Our Lady; the Infant Christ, who holds an open Book of the Gospels, has a gold nimbus. This representation of the Virgin and Child closely resembles the twelfth century window in the South choir aisle of Chartres Cathedral, known as Notre Dame de la belle Varriène. Below the Virgin and Child is a Nativity scene with the Holy Family. In the background are an ox and a stable.

The upper part of the outer left hand light shows St John the Baptist, the patron saint of Pinner Parish Church. Holding his attribute – a reed cross – he is standing beside a barren tree representing the wilderness. One foot is in the waters of the River Jordan, where he baptised those who came to him and repented. Beneath this scene is depicted the Visitation. Mary is shown clasping in greeting the hand of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. They are standing outside the house of Zacharias, the husband of Elizabeth.

In the right hand quatrefoil in the window head is the Star of David surmounted by an English regal crown which symbolises the royal lineage of the Blessed Virgin. The Crosses which are incorporated in the crown are themselves the emblems of the triumph of eternal hope over death.

The left hand quatrefoil shows the stylised initials MR (for Maria Regina) over which is a celestial crown of eight high points of which five are shown, each terminating in a mullet (a five pointed star).

At the centre of the window head is the Paschal Lamb holding the Banner of the Resurrection, signifying Christ the Redeemer.

The Parclose Screen, (1938) which should be viewed from both the Lady Chapel and the choir stalls, is a superb piece of woodwork coloured in tempera by Italian artists. It is an adaptation of a late 15th century design with a three-light Perpendicular open-work panel above linenfold bases.

The Blessed Sacrament, whose presence is indicated by the aumbry lamp, is reserved in the veiled aumbry in the south wall. 

 

Statute of Our Lady  

 

The Statue of Our Lady, which was carved in Oberammergau, was given in 1971 by a former assistant priest, the Revd Tony Lee.


The Remembrance Book on the south wall of the Lady Chapel records the names of the departed since 1976. It was dedicated in 1996.

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