The carvings within St Mary’s tell many stories. The symbolic language of the church refers to death, rebirth and eternity, drawing upon pre Christian, pagan and personal references.
The beauty and holiness of St Mary’s is God’s gift. It reflects in stone and wood the love of God for all creation – Brother Gregory SSF
A Losh family friend, Major William Thain, was killed in the Afghan War of 1842 and decorative arrows remind us of his death. Before he died he sent a pinecone to Sarah and the cone, a classical symbol of eternal life, is seen in many forms throughout the church from door handles to candle holders.
The chrysalis and butterfly, a favourite motif of Sarah’s, are symbols of resurrection, whilst angels trampling over bats and dragons tell of the triumph of light over darkness.
Sarah’s interest in the progressive sciences of the day led her to include images of fossils in the apse windows, whilst the kaleidoscopic windows of the nave make use of a mosaic of reused stained glass that gives them new life.
The wealth of animal, insect and plant forms lead us to think of St Mary’s as Sarah’s Benedicite – ‘All ye works of the Lord, praise ye the Lord.’