Relic Chapel

The Relic Chapel

This chapel has seen a number of changes over the years. Originally this was the baptistery, where new Christians were baptised into the Church. Hence the images on the ceiling.

The Relic Chapel Ceiling (front) The Relic Chapel Ceiling (left) The Relic Chapel Ceiling (right) The Relic Chapel Ceiling (back)

Then in 1907 the font was moved out and the chapel redecorated to house a large and fine collection of relics and antiquities which had been bequeathed to the parish by Hartwell de la Garde Grissell.

Over the years, the chapel suffered from neglect, and in 1971 the collection of antiquities was dispersed, and the relics burnt. The font was returned to the chapel, and it once again became the baptistery.

Restoration work began in the early 1990s. We were fortunate to obtain from the Carmelite convent at Chichester a collection of relics, as well as a wrought-iron screen to replace the one which had been scrapped. This was installed in late 1994.

A survivor from the Grissell collection is the picture of Our Lady of Oxford, which hangs over the altar. In recent years, devotion to Our Lady of Oxford, Mother of Mercy, has increased, and prayers for her intercession are said after the morning Mass on most Saturdays.

The painting of Our Lady of Oxford

In 1869, Blessed Pius IX attached an indulgence to the image, which was to be gained by reciting the Salve Regina or the Litany of Loretto.

The description of the indulgence

The chapel was restored in 2009 to its current state. The font has once again been moved out, and is now at the back of the Church until a new baptistery is built.

St Aloysius Gonzaga Statue

Also in this chapel is the statue of the patron saint of the church, St Aloysius Gonzaga. His family arms are displayed above the shrine.

Arms of St Aloysius Gonzaga

The original statue, picture below, went missing some time in the last century.

St Aloysius Gonzaga Statue in 1906