Close to the Font is the Paschal (Easter) Candle which represents the Risen Christ, the Beginning and End of all things, denoted by the Greek letters alpha (A) and omega (Ω), with five grains of incense standing for His Five Glorious Wounds in His Hands, Feet and Side, and from which our Baptismal Candle is lit as our Parents, with the support of our Godparents, promise to “…keep the Light of Christ burning…”, i.e. to bring us up, through word and example, as Practising Catholics. Just as it is lighted as we begin our Faith Journey, it will shine out on the day of our Requiem Mass, as our Brothers and Sisters in Christ pray that we are now sharing in His Resurrection in Heaven.
Over the rear door is Saint Joseph, the ‘Spouse most Chaste’ of Our Blessed Mother and Foster-Father of our Redeemer and in the opposite corner, Saint Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr, Patron Saint of our Parish. In this Chapel are three stained glass windows: they depict the Gospel, spread by Saint Bartholomew, Our Lord, the Sacrificial Lamb and St. Joseph, Jesus' Foster-Father, represented by woodworking tools.
In the larger part of the church, to the right of the High-Altar, is Our Lady’s Altar, reminding us that, by her ‘Yes’ to the Archangel Gabriel, Mary made possible God’s Plan for our Salvation by conceiving and carrying in her Womb the Child who was to grow to adulthood, found the Church, offer His Life for us 33 years later and come to us personally every time we receive Holy Communion.
In the wall of the Lady Chapel, above the benches, are more Stained glass windows: The three main windows depict the Nativity of Our Lord. Above them are images of Mary, our Mother’s Queenship, a Crown and a letter M. Saint Pope John Paul II incorporated the M into his coat of arms, together with the motto, “Totus Tuus”, (“All Yours!”)
Votive lights and flowers, nearby, are signs for others of our love for and devotion to our Mother, into whose Protection Jesus placed us as He suffered and died on the Cross. To the left and right of Our Lady’s Shrine are pictures, marking special devotions to Mary; Our Lady of perpetual Succour (Help), an icon (or holy picture) from the Eastern Church and, from Poland, Our Lady of Częstochowa, sometimes known as the Black Madonna.
Moving clockwise round the church we next see Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, generally known as Padre (Father) Pio, an Italian Capuchin Priest who bore on his body the Wounds (Stigmata) of Christ’s Passion and, during many hours spent hearing Confessions, reconciled countless souls to God; we do well to pray for his intercession for Priests hearing Confessions and for ourselves, in need of God's Mercy and seeking it through this wonderful Sacrament.
From St. Bart's
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church
Accessibility - St. Bartholomew's does its utmost to accommodate those with additional needs. Whilst the main body of the church is wholly accessible to people with mobility disabilities, the choir gallery is both approached by stairs and the seating is then stepped by design. The church has a wheelchair-accessible toilet, and baby-changing facilities. There is a Loop System (AFIL) in place in the church.
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