Chapel of St Andrew and the Saints of Scotland
The byzantine design is much in evidence in the Chapel
St Andrew the fisherman depicted in the wall mosaic
St Andrew was a fisherman, the brother of St Peter, one of the first disciples to be called by the Lord. He is represented on the west wall, in his traditional colours of blue and white; opposite him is the diagonal cross on which he was crucified. On either side of this cross are the words spoken by St Andrew at his martyrdom.
Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland: most of the marbles in the Chapel come from Scotland, and the thistle - the emblem of Scotland - can be seen on top of the Chapel grille. Either side of the altar are reliefs of four Scottish saints - Ninian, Margaret, Bride and Columba, while the names of other saints of Scotland are carved around the walls of the Chapel.
The furniture of the Chapel is especially fine. Superbly crafted in ebony and bone, the stalls are the work of Ernest Gimson and the kneelers the work of Sidney Barnsley, leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The decoration of the Chapel follows the tradition of Byzantine art, recalling the fact that St Andrew is also patron saint of Greece. The central lamp, and the grille, include representations of the ostrich egg, the Byzantine symbol of eternity.
Above the arches are represented six towns associated with St Andrew and his relics. Constantinople (of which he was the first bishop) is shown with the great church of Haghia Sophia - one of the main inspirations for Westminster Cathedral. To the left is Bethsaida, birthplace of St Andrew, and to the right Patras, where he was exiled. The opposite wall shows
St Andrews, Scotland, Amalfi, in southern Italy, where his body was taken, and the basilica of St Ambrose in Milan, which contains relics of the Saint. In this Chapel, relics of St Andrew are housed behind the small celtic cross above the altar.
St Andrew's trade as fisherman is recalled in the mosaic of the ceiling, designed to resemble fish scales, and by the floor, where a river is depicted meandering alongside fish and sea-life.
Lord, we pray for
the people of Scotland
Bless them with peace
Help us all, like St Andrew,
To hear Jesus' call to be his disciple,
And to make his gospel known in our world