Work on the ceiling paintings of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel has been completed by a team from the firm of Stephen Bellion – Church Art Restorers. The work has been funded by a very generous donation from a long-time supporter of the Shrine.
Although the painting of the Coronation of Our Lady by Ian Howgate (see below) has always been more-or-less visible from the nave, the Agnus Dei (and the side paintings – The Last Supper and The Crucifixion) by Anthony Baynes (see below) have long disappeared from view, covered with a thick layer of incense smoke. After the cleaning the full beauty of the Agnus Dei has been revealed for the first time for years. It is based on a mosaic in the Church of Sancta Maria Maggiore in Rome. The Lamb of God stands on a golden throne, backed by a blue roundel and attended by two pairs of six-winged angels on either side plus a single angel above.
Howgate, Ian (1910-1989) worked for Faith-Craft and painted The Coronation of Our Lady on the ceiling of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (1938).
Baynes, Anthony b 28 March 1921; d 13 June 2003; Anthony Baynes’s work in the Shrine includes the Agnus Dei above the Blessed Sacrament Chapel (1955), the reredos of St George’s Chapel (1963), (of which he repainted part on a later occasion), and the reredos of the St Lawrence Altar (which was removed in 1972 when the South Cloister was added).