St Barnabas Chapel

Mayday chapel exterior alternative viewSt Barnabas Chapel stands in its own small garden next to the Post-graduate Medical Centre and near the Woodcroft Road entrance to the hospital. When Mayday Hospital, or as it was then known – the Croydon Union Infirmary – was built in 1885 it had no Chapel. Services were held in the Board Room and on the wards. The Chapel, which at that stage had no dedication being simply known as the Infirmary chapel, was built 12 years later in 1897 and dedicated in the March of that year by the then vicar of Croydon Revd H.H. Pereira. At some point it was decided that it should be dedicated to St. Barnabas.

Mayday Chapel windowSt Barnabas was noted for being a great encourager and is also the patron saint of nursing and so it seems an appropriate dedication for a hospital chapel. The stained glass window opposite the one of St Barnabas, pictured here, features St Luke the gospel writer who was himself a physician and has become the patron saint of doctors. The East Window, recently restored, depicts Christ, the light of the world. This, as so much within the chapel, was a gift in memory of a former matron Miss Annie Winifred Pagen. 

The Chapel also includes items from the Chapel at Queens Hospital, now no longer in use. An area towards the back has more information about Queen’s Hospital Chapel.

To the right of the altar, provided by the generosity of the Friends of Mayday during the refurbishment and re-ordering of the Chapel in 1991, is our Remembrance Book. Behind the altar is the Roman Catholic Tabernacle and the Anglican Aumbry where the sacrament is reserved.

Beautified by gifts and remembrances of the past St Barnabas Chapel is also a place of the present seeking to meet the needs of patients, staff and relatives now, offering hospitality not only to Christians of all denominations but to people of all faiths and none. It continues to be a sanctuary where joys can be expressed, tears shed and healing sought -  a place where one can ‘be’.

The Chapel is open daily for peace and prayer and is used regularly for services.  A variety of prayers material and information leaflets for patients and visitors are available. A small booklet on the history of the chapel itself is in preparation. The gardens around the chapel also provide a place for staff, patients and visitors to relax.

 

 

 

 

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