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St Joseph Chapel

The chapel was added to the church in 1889, at the same time as the sanctuary. Because of the shortage of funds at that time, it is much shallower than Pugin planned in 1842, even shallower than the Lady Chapel. The construction of the south wall of the sanctuary shows that a subsequent extension was expected. This hope had probably been abandoned by 1909 when the stained glass window was installed.

Stained glass

The window shows scenes from the life of Joseph starting from the bottom right: Joseph in a dream being advised to take Mary as his wife, marriage to Mary, flight into Egypt, working as a carpenter in Nazareth, finding Jesus in the temple, and on his deathbed.

Baptismal font

The font was made at the same time as the church, and originally installed in the north-west corner, where the shop is now. Baptism traditionally took place near the church entrance, being regarded as an initiation rite before the baptised were allowed to join the congregation. Inthe 1980s, when baptism celebrations became more communal events, the font was moved to be in front of the congregation.

The deep carvings around the octagonal side of the font show in alternate panels the traditional winged emblems of the four Gospel-writers: the lion for St Mark, the eagle for St John, the man for St Matthew, and the bull for St Luke.

Paschal candle

A fresh candle is lit each year as the centre-piece of the “service of light” within the Easter Vigil. It is re-lit on subsequent Sundays during the Easter season, and for baptisms during the year. The brass Paschal candlestick was purchased by the parish Altar Society in 1903 from Hardman & Powell of Birmingham at a cost of £45.