A Guide to St. Edward’s Church – The Lady Chapel
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The Lady Chapel is located to the right hand side of the sanctuary. Ornate metalwork divides the Lady Chapel and the sanctuary. One metal panel carries images of a dove, which symbolises the Holy Spirit, the other displays lilies, symbolising Our Lady.
The statue of Our Lady is represented as a Madonna carrying the Christ child. Traditional Marian prayers of Regina Coeli and the Angelus are located either side of the statue. Holy communion was at one time reserved in the side chapel, rather than in the tabernacle on the altar itself.
The window in the Lady Chapel contains a central light with an image of Our Lady, dressed in blue. (Mary is almost always portrayed dressed in blue. In mediaeval times blue was a rare and expensive colour for an artist to use and therefore was only used on the most precious of objects.) In her left hand she holds white lilies, which are used to symbolise her purity and virginity. The left hand light is a Fleur-de-Lys, used to express the lily heraldically. The right hand light contains a sacred monogram. The letter M has been joined to the letter R, with the right hand arm of the M pierced by the loop of the R. This is known as the Monogram of the Blessed Virgin. Combined as it is with a crown above it it stands for Mary Queen of Heaven. This window was donated by the parish “Children of Mary” group.
Looking down the north aisle on the right hand side of the church looking towards the Lady Chapel, we can see that the console for the organ is located in front of the chapel. A copy of the “Light of the World” by Holmann Hunt is on the wall between the sanctuary and the chapel. During the months of May and October a statue of Our Lady holding Jesus (which came from the former Roman Catholic church of St. Luke’s, Kettering) resides on the chancel.
A drawing of the Lady Chapel by C. Dudley Brown, included in the Consecration booklet of 1946.