The Reredos

The Centre panel of the Reredos is of the Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This beautifully carved Reredos was installed in 1902; it was executed by Mr John Bridgeman of Lichfield, from designs of Mr Hodson Fowler, diocesan architect of Durham. It was followed 20 years later by the entire screening of the Chapel.

Other panels depict four women saints (from left)

St Melangell the patron saint of hares. According to legend she had saved a hare from being killed by the Prince of Powys at the site which is now Pennant Melangell

St Winifred carrying her head which had been struck off by Caradoc, a repulsed lover, from Hawarden in the 7th century. St Bueno, Abbott, restored her head to her shoulders and she lived the rest of her days as a nun at Gwytherin or Holywell, Denbighshire. Where her head fell a spring rose up, the Holy Well, another Behesda of healing for the maimed, the halt and the blind; her relics lie in Shrewsbury.

St Bride or St Ffraid, an Irish saint of the 6th century, founded a community at Kildare, probably the first for women in Ireland. Near Oswestry is the village and church of Llansantffraid. Beside her is a fire, symbolising the light she brought into the lives of many people by helping them to understand God. A fire within a circle of bushes into which no man may enter was kept burning for several centuries by the nuns of her community.

Thought to have been St Werburgh,  but a Vestry meeting note and an entry in the Parish magazine for December 1902 reveals it to be St Marchial, or Marcella who founded the abbey Strata Marcella near Welshpool.


Information from John Pryce-Jones, Parish magazine August 2013