Outlook Issue 22 Winter 2016
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Come and find Mary
Have you ever walked around your Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin and seen how many images there are of her? The church is open every day of the year, and all are welcome to wander around, or just sit and absorb the atmosphere. In the beautiful East window above the high altar, St Mary holds the Christ Child as the Magi come to worship him (pictured). In the quiet of the little chapel to the right of the high altar, a statue of her stands with the babe in her arms, a peaceful presence in that quiet place. And above the altar in that chapel, is Rupert Corbould’s magnificent painting of the Adoration of the Magi at the feet of Jesus and his Blesséd Mother. She is present above the north porch, welcoming all into the main door of the church. And the incredible flint flushwork all around the outside of the church and the porch depicts her enduring symbol – the stylised M and R united as one motif, topped with a crown – Maria Regina – recognising her ancient title, Queen of Heaven … The lovely blue banner of the Mothers’ Union, always displayed at the back of the church, is in the colour, tradition tells us, of her cloak – ‘Madonna blue’ – and it carries the symbol of her Annunciation – the Lily –as well as the Maria Regina motif. Look out for the two little statues above the high altar. On the south side stands St Mary as a young girl, with her mother St Anna. And then turn to the stained glass window in the north-east: there she is again – at the foot of the Cross. The ‘three Marys’, together in their faithfulness, witness the crucifixion of her belovéd Son. My particular favourite image of Mary is the statue high up in an alcove on the south wall, above the organ. If you come down the steps from the Market Square into the churchyard on a winter evening, you’ll see through the church windows the floodlit Mary and Christ Child high up on the wall – it will take your breath away. Margie Stagg