Foundation Corner (right of the West Door)
Some stones from different shrines and abbeys all round England, all of which were dedicated to the Virgin Mary are embedded in the walls. There are also some leaves from the Virgin’s tree in Egypt which the Holy Family are supposed to have slept under on their way to Egypt.
The Foundation Stone shows the name of the architect and the builder, Melsom and Rosier, who were a firm of builders in Wealdstone. This church was built by local people. Also in this corner is the stone laid by Fr Johnson’s mother and the foundation stone of the church in Charing Cross Road (which was sold and the money given to build this church). There is also a stone from All Saints Church in York, where the first Vicar worshipped as a boy, and that stone dates from the year 1089.
The Calvary has an interesting history. The large bronze crucifix was sculptured by a man called Arthur Toft, also known as Tofts. He made a lot of war memorials after the First War.
It was made for a church in the City of London and there was some dispute about it and it never got put in its original church. When this church was built, the Bishop of London gave it to Kenton.
This is regarded as the memorial corner as there is a window to the British Legion, a war memorial and there is a book of the names of all the departed who are remembered every day in the prayers of the church.
Fonts were always by tradition at the door of the church because you went to church as a baby new-born into the world and you get born again into the church through baptism.
This font was the gift of Mr Nash of Nash Builders. This was carved in one piece of Minchinhampton stone by the sculptor, Herbert Palliser. At the front there is a panel of Christ being baptised by John the Baptist that symbolises the link between our baptism and that of His.
The font cover has an inscription round it taken from St John’s Gospel: ‘I am come that they may have life and that they may have it abundantly’, and that exemplified the spirit of St Mary’s, that it’s a life of worship but it is the wholeness of life that people are concerned with here, not just their church life, but the whole of their life.
The font has around it all sorts of symbols of childhood: there’s the dove above the Holy Spirit, and round the crown of the canopy all sorts of elves and pixies etc. there are rabbits, lambs, dogs and cats.
The stained glass windows are very ancient. They are Georgian windows from about 1760. They are some of the oldest things in the church and they are known as York glass. They were made in York and they depict Eli and Samuel, the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, and the figures of Our Lord as a child from the New Testament. Unfortunately one got broken some years ago by boys ‘conkering’ in the vicarage garden. The windows were given in memory of a little girl, the daughter of one of the early members of the congregation who died. On the wall there is a very lovely bronze statue of the infant Christ.