St Mary’s Convent

St Mary Magdalene Chapel

This is the chapel where we gather together to recite our Daily Office: the saying of the Psalms with brief reflections and short Biblical readings. Here is where the Eucharist is regularly celebrated and where we are greatly blessed by the ministry of many clergy friends. Here too is a place where you can sit and gaze at Mother Maribel’s carvings of the Stations of the Cross.

“Lord, whom have I in heaven but you? There is nothing I desire in comparison with you.” — Psalm 73:25



St. Mary Magdalene’s is the oldest of the two public chapels. It was designed by George Edward Street and dedicated on 30 July 1861. It was radically renovated and lightened in 1967 to accommodate the Stations of the Cross.

The design for the cross on the east wall of this Chapel – the tenth slide above – was inspired by atomic research. An American physicist succeeded in photographing a cluster of atoms present in a single crystal of metal at the tip of a platinum needle. When magnified 750,000 times the atoms were shown to be in the form of a cross.

In the eighth slide is the ferial chasuble recently designed and worked by Sr. Lorna & worn here by our Warden, the Ven. Caroline Baston.

St Mary’s Chapel

Guests often like to sit quietly in the ante-chapel or before the statue carved by Mother Maribel of Mary & her Son. The Choir is used on occasions when a large congregation is anticipated especially for Associates’ and Oblates’ Days.

The Chapel is the work of John Loughborough Pearson. It was consecrated in 1889 and redecorated in 1923 by Sir Ninian Comper.

The two rows of mahogany choir stalls, the stone vaulting and the tiled floor by the high altar are reminiscent of Truro Cathedral, also designed by the same Architect. Children enjoy exploring the fossils in the black marble on the sanctuary steps.