Reredos

The High Altar, with reredos and tabernacle behind

Around the tabernacle is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the church, the reredos, crowded with statues of Saints and angels, and reminding us of the unity of the Church on earth with the Church in heaven.

The reredos contains 52 statues of Saints and 4 archangels.

The left hand side of the reredos

Left hand side, top row, from left to right

  1. St David
  2. St Columba
  3. St Edmund of Abingdon
  4. St Edward the Confessor
  5. St Frideswide
  6. St Dunstan
  7. St Michael
  8. St Bede
  9. St Hilda
  10. St Alban
  11. St Helen
  12. St Gregory the Great
  13. Our Lady

Left hand side, bottom row, from left to right

  1. St Andrew
  2. St Charles Borromeo
  3. St Stanislaus Kostka
  4. St Francis Xavier
  5. St Dominic
  6. St Henry the Emperor
  7. St Raphael
  8. St Augustine of Hippo
  9. St Gertrude
  10. St Ambrose
  11. St Julia
  12. St Peter
  13. St John the Evangelist
The right hand side of the reredos

Right hand side, top row, from left to right

  1. St Joseph
  2. St Augustine of Canterbury
  3. St Winifred
  4. St Chad
  5. St Edith
  6. St Cuthbert
  7. St Gabriel
  8. St Thomas of Canterbury
  9. St Bertha
  10. St Hugh
  11. St Simon Stock
  12. St Thomas of Hereford
  13. St George

Right hand side, bottom row, from left to right

  1. St Mary Magdalene
  2. St Paul
  3. St Cecilia
  4. St Sebastian
  5. St Hubert
  6. St Monica
  7. St Uriel
  8. St Ignatius
  9. St Aloysius Gonzaga
  10. St Teresa
  11. St Francis de Sales
  12. St Vincent de Paul
  13. St Patrick

Above the reredos are 20 more Saints with only their heads showing. They are, from left to right:

The heads on the left of the Sanctuary
  1. Bl. John Forest
  2. Bl. Margaret Pole
  3. St Thomas More
  4. St John Fisher
  5. St Thomas Aquinas
  6. St Anselm
  7. St Jerome
  8. St Leo
  9. St Athanasius
  10. St Ephraem the Syrian.
The heads on the left of the Sanctuary

(Centre)

The heads on the right of the Sanctuary
  1. St Basil
  2. St John Chrysostom
  3. St Benedict
  4. St Bruno
  5. St Francis of Assisi
  6. St Bernard
  7. St Edmund Campion
  8. St Oliver Plunkett
  9. St Alexander Briant
  10. Bl. John Storey
The heads on the right of the Sanctuary

A host of angels float above between the reredos and the heads, bearing a scroll with the words of the Sanctus:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.—“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…”
The angels above the reredos

In 2011, a commemorative book, Heads and Statues, was published containing close-up photographs of all these statues, with a short life of each Saint, as well as more information about the history of the statues and the restoration work carried out on them.