Sculptures

Gabriel Pippet designed and carried out all the stone sculpture on the outside and inside the church and he also carved fourteen Stations of the Cross in oak.

Outside the Church. Over the central double doors is a relief showing the Sacred Heart with St. Catherine of Alexandria on his right and St. Richard de Wyche on his left.

maindoors_sculpture

Over the single entrance door into the church is a relief depicting the Annunciation with Archangel Gabriel and Mary, and with the Holy Spirit above in the form of a dove. Notice the little bird in the lower right hand corner – it is a “pipit”. The artist has very cleverly included his name in symbol form – “Gabriel” of the Archangel and “Pippet” of the bird.

side_door_sculpture

side_door_sculpture_pipit

Inside the Church. The columns in the main body of the church have double capitals in the style of many churches in Italy. The upper capitals are plain but for small, carved medallions which stand proud of the surface. The two medallions nearest to the altar have the name of the church in symbol form – the pierced heart for the “Sacred Heart” and the spoked wheel for “St. Catherine of Alexandria”.

medallion_heart

capital_double

medallion_wheel

The lower capitals each have intricate designs of foliage, patterns, faces and symbols.

This capital has the winged symbols of the four evangelists (angel, lion, oxen and eagle) and the initial letter of each their names (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

capital_evangelists

capital_mark_symbol

Gabriel was carving this capital when there was much irreverent noise and talking in the church. He thought that there should be ‘silence in the church’ and so sculpted this cryptic message in stone on the corner facing the congregation.

capital_silence

capital_silence_detail

These statues, of Our Lady with the baby Jesus and of St. Joseph, stand each side of the steps up to the Sanctuary and are just two examples of the many statues and relief carvings in stone around the church.

mary_statue_close_up

joseph_statue_detail

On the Sanctuary stand the pulpit and the baptismal font and they are both delicately carved with figures, birds and symbols.

pulpit

font

The altar frontage, with two angels facing towards each other, was first sketched out by Gabriel and you can compare his original sketch with the altar as it is today.

altar_angels_sketch

altar_detail

Gabriel also sketched the designs for the Stations of the Cross and below you can see the sketch for the tenth Station, “Jesus is stripped of his garments”, and the finished Station carved in oak.

station_sketch

station_wood

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