A Parish of the Diocese of Canterbury under the Episcopal care of the Bishop of Richborough.
5. The Chapel of the Sacred Heart LocaleBiznet
Virtual Tour of St.Peter’s
The Chapel of the Sacred Heart
At the present time, this Chapel is seriously affected by water leakage through the walls, windows and ceiling. Restoration work could take some time, so it is possible that when you visit, this Chapel will be undergoing restorative works.
The South Transept is dominated by the great stained glass window of The Transfiguration. Today we are left with a fragment of the original, much of the glass having been lost during the bombing of the Second World War.
The Transfiguration of Jesus is a moment of a compression in time and space as our Lord is shown in His real Glory before the 3 Apostles, Peter, James and John and the elders, Moses (the bringer of the law) and Elijah (the prophet), whilst praying on top of a mountain. (Matthew: 17:1-9). The window depicts the Transfigured Christ. To the left is Moses and to the right is Elijah (Elias). Beneath them the 3 Apostles are depicted cowering to the ground with fear, Only Peter (on the right) has the temerity to speak to the Lord in His Glory.
Whilst we no longer have the full richness of the stained glass, the sun shines through this window for much of the day, filling the whole Church and giving the feeling of the light at the heart of The Transfiguration.
Above the Window of the Transfiguration is the Roundel Window. The central roundel depicts the foundations of the Christian Church, the Cross of Christ, combined with the Keys of St. Peter, which give Apostolic authority. The surrounding roundels are decoratively themed on the English/Tudor Rose, suggesting the foundation of the Church of England. Together they declare the Apostolic and Catholic nature of the Church of England.
At ground level, the South Transept is now reserved as the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. In the early days of the Church, the organ was located here but was so damaged during the Second World War blitz that during the post-War restoration a new organ was placed in a newly built organ gallery.
The chapel was then dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a memorial to Father Bartlett (1947-1956), third Vicar of St. Peter's, who oversaw the restoration of the Church. The oak panelling came from the retired Convent Chapel of St. Andrews Rest-home, which was next to the Church and is now a block of flats.
The beautiful Altar frontal, takes as its theme "The leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations" (Revelation 22:2). The needlework is of a very high quality. The frontal is believed to have been designed by our first Vicar, Father Ridsdale, himself.
The Chapel itself is dominated by the image of Christ Crucified in the radiant splendour of the Resurrection. It often provides a powerful focus for those who use this chapel in meditation.
The figure of the Sacred Heart of Jesus provides the prayer-focus for the Chapel. It reminds us of the infinite Mercy of Christ.
2016 was declared as 'The Year of Mercy' by Pope Francis. The Anglo-Catholic Churches, in our case led by the Bishop of Richborough, have followed the call, leading prayers for Divine Mercy throughout the year.
The Chapel of the Sacred Heart also serves as our Mariners' Chapel, remembering unto the Mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all those that work at sea. In particular our own Fishermen and other sailors who work out of the Port of Folkestone or in the Cruise Ship industry (especially Saga).
The two large Standards which fly on the South West Transept Wall, are those of the Hengist and Horsa, the last of the ferries which ran between Folkestone and Boulogne. Named for the two Jute brothers who founded the Kingdom of Kent in 449AD the ferries were laid up after 20 years service, in 1991, with the opening of the Channel Tunnel. It cut centuries-long ties between the towns of Folkestone and Boulogne. The final departure of each vessel was marked with special services aboard, led by the Vicar of St. Peter's and much of its congregation, along with officers and crew.
The Standards were then laid up in the Church as a memorial to the ferry service.
As part of the mariners' theme, around the Chapel you will find several memorials to those who have served or lost their lives at Sea. Between the Standards is the Memorial to members of the Royal Naval Association. This contains the ashes of its Standard, which was lost in the fire of 1996.
There is also a memorial to the fisherman, John Fagg, who served as Churchwarden for ten years; and a wonderful candle stick, made of anchor chain, which is lit in prayer 'for all those in peril on the sea'.