Shrines and Statues

The statue of the highest artistic merit is, without doubt, the statue to the Virgin Mary. Originally mounted on the north wall of the church, it is now on the east wall of Our Lady’s shrine. It was designed by Comper himself in 1950. He noted in his papers at the time that this was “my first Madonna”, and he based it on a French fourteenth-century sculpture of The Virgin that he had seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum. However, the influence of his father’s Virgin at Downside is also very evident. It was carved in pine by a Mr. Davison of James Walker, a firm of church furnishers, and the basic cost was £120 (over £2 000 today). The infant Jesus, carried by Our Lady, and the crown was the work of an artist in Comper’s workshop, Mr. Wigram. The crown by itself cost  £20 (£380 today). For many years the statue was draped in a blue cloak, handmade by two parishioners, Hilda Glazebrook, and her mother.

On the right-hand side of the Sanctuary is a statue to The Sacred Heart, also carved in wood and given by the Weston family, the builders of the church.

A statue of St. Anthony stands against the lower end of the south wall. There are other recent additions.

A statue of St. Thomas stands at the west end of the nave and is a recognition of the special devotion to St Thomas of the Indian families who have joined our parish community.

Members of the Indian community also gave the parish the statue of St Gregory, which was blessed by Bishop Peter on the occasion of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the consecration of the church and 60 years after it was first opened and blessed.

The carving of St. Joseph the Worker is an anonymous gift. It was carved in Poland by Tadensz Pieczonka, and it is situated on the north wall close by the shrine to Our Lady.

The statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was also carved by Tadensz Pieczonka, and was placed in Church to commemorate the years when musicians from St Gregory’s provided the music for our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham. It also commemorates the link that the parish has with the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who of whose priests were ordained in St Gregory’s.

Not to be missed is the statue of Our Lady in Prayer which stands in the garden between the Church and the Presbytery. This previously stood above the main door of St. David’s Middle School in Kingsthorpe and was first erected there some fifty years ago, when the school was the Preparatory School for Notre Dame Girls’ School. It is in Carrara marble, and was purchased in Wellingborough and presented to the Preparatory School by Mrs. Joy Fielder, a parishioner of St. Gregory’s, in thanksgiving for the success of her daughter Sylvia in passing the examination for entry to the senior school. After the closure of the Preparatory School, it stayed with St. David’s Middle School until it closed in 2006. Joy Fielder then asked the Diocese for the statue to be transferred to St Gregory’s church. It now stands in the garden on a Haddenstone plinth given in memory of Phyllis Shaw, a tireless worker for the Red Cross, by her daughter-in-law, Rosemary. A bower has been created around the statue and garden benches provide the opportunity to sit in quiet prayer and contemplation.