Chapel of St Andrew and the Saints of Scotland
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 ivory,
the stalls and kneelers are the work of Ernest Gimson, a leader in the Arts and
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 Andrew, and to the right Patras, Greece,
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 a fisherman is recalled in the mosiac 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 and prosperity.
Help us all, like St. Andrew, to hear Jesus' call to be his disciple,
And to make his gospel known in our world.