is the first Candle lit at the Easter Vigil symbolising the light and life of the Risen Christ. It is lit and placed in a prominent position throughout the 50 days of Easter. During the remainder of the year it occupies a place near the Font where it is lit at the celebrations of baptism. During Funerals it is placed near the coffin. It reminds us of the eternal life we share with Christ though baptism over which even death has no authority or power.
is a large bowl into which water is poured for the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The present Font is from the pre war Church. This was relocated at the centre of the West End of the Nave and set on a pavement of new Portland stone in 2005. This has given Font greater prominence and facilitates the view of the congregation at baptismal liturgy which takes place during the Sunday Mass.
is situated behind the Font, the place where the Holy Oils are stored. The Oil of Chrism, The Oil of the Sick and the The Oil of the Catechumens are blessed by the Bishop once a year during the Chrism Mass which takes place during Holy Week. These Oils are used by the Parish at the preparation for and during the celebration of Holy Baptism. Holy Chrism is also used to 'anoint’ the walls of church buildings when they are consecrated, Icons and newly ordained priests. In the celebration of the Sacrament of the Sick, those seeking God’s healing and peace are, following the laying on of hands, anointed with the Oil of the Sick. An anointing with these Oils imbues the grace and life of Christ in that person or thing, setting them apart as holy or restoring, renewing and healing.
a recess in the wall at the entrances of the building containing blessed water with which we make the sign of the cross when entering and leaving the church. This simple gesture affirms our Christian identity given us at Baptism
originally a memorial to the fallen from the Parish during the First Word War 1914-18. It survived the destruction of the Church during the 2nd world war and was re-sited in its present position in the 1970’s having been stored away for many years. Today, it’s a place where prayer is offered, where candles may be lit as signs of our intercession for others. This almost life size image of the crucified is used each year during the Liturgy on Good Friday.
Recently the head of the Crucified was 'crowned' with a crown of thorns. This thorn crown was made by the late Doreen Harries, the Acacia thorns collected from the Deanery garden at All Saints Cathedral Nairobi sometime in the 1960's. Her husband, the late, The Very Reverend Raymond Harries was sometime Dean there. Later in retirement Canon and Mrs Harries lived in Porthcawl and have still have family there and in Roath.
a fixed and secure safe, veiled with material in the various liturgical colours in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The Blessed Sacrament is the bread which has become the Body of Christ during Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. It is reserved here for the purposes of taking Holy Communion to the sick and housebound. Also, for the Liturgy of Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. A Lamp burns continually before the Tabernacle reminding all of the real presence of the Risen Christ in this great Sacrament.
Designed and Executed by the Welsh Artist Frank Roper in 1989. It displays texts from the Gospel according to Saint John. A similar work by Roper can be seen in Durham Cathedral. The Crucifix and Six Altar Candlesticks were given in thanks for the life and ministry of The Revd Canon Dennis Brown. Father Brown was Vicar of the parish from 1947-1983 and had oversight of the rebuilding of the Church following its destruction during the war in February 1941.
a chapel within the building, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is commonly referred to as “Our Lady” The Lady Chapel was a common feature in mediaeval cathedrals churches and still survives to this day. The figure of Our Lady above the altar was originally at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church a short distance away. It was bought from that community, after the re-ordering of their building in the 1970’s when it was no longer needed.
is the only work by Frank Roper carved used wood. Here we see Martin, as a serving Roman Officer, coming to the aid of a poor beggar. Martin, it is said, cut his cloak in half and gave one half to this poor man. Later in a dream, Martin re-visited this scene and saw in place of the beggar the person of Jesus Christ.
These three figures, Christ, St. Martin and an Archangel were recently carved by Mr Peter Bowen using Bath Stone that previously formed a window entrance porch. This window was removed to create a new doorway. The stone Peter then reused to carve these figures.
FEATURES OF THE CHURCH BUILDING
Frank Roper was born on 12 December 1914 and died on 3 December 2000 aged 85 years. He was born in Haworth, Yorkshire where his grandfather had a stone-carving shop. He attended Keighley School of Art, where he met his future wife Nora Ellison, and together they went on to study at the Royal College of Art.
Frank Roper’s prominent church commissions are the lettered panel for the tomb of Bede at Durham Cathedral (1970), the Lady Chapel screen at St David’s Cathedral (1973) and his Crucifixion at Peterborough Cathedral (1974). With his wife he made architectural glass, and important examples of their work can be seen at St Peter’s Church, Chippenham (1968). Outside his ecclesiastical commissions Roper worked on such pieces as mythical figures and animated constructions.
Many examples of his work spanning his long career are to be found at St Martin’s Roath.
His association with Wales, and in particular with Cardiff began when, after appointments at art colleges in Lincoln and Sheffield, he was appointed Vice-Principal at Cardiff College of Art in 1947, where he remained until his retirement in 1973. He tended to think of teaching as a temporary measure, and was happiest when creating his own works of art. He established a foundry on the ground floor of his home in Penarth, where he executed many of his commissions.
In the 1950s he became interested in aluminium as a medium for sculpture, and invented the process of ‘lost-polystyrene’ casting. During this time he worked closely with George Pace, Jacob Epstein and John Piper in the restoration of Llandaff Cathedral.
THE MOSAIC OF
CHRIST THE PANTOCRATOR OF ROATH
The mosaic icon of Christ the Pantocrator of Roath was designed and fabricated by Aidan Hart. Martin Earle and Ulia Clow assisted him in his studio near Shrewsbury. The mosaic was transported to Cardiff in its completed form and then positioned within a carved round stone frame, thirty feet above street level, constructed by the local stonemason Paul Mitchell.
The Mosaic was solemnly blessed during the celebration of High Mass on Sunday 22nd September 2013 by the The Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams sometime Archbishop of Canterbury. The Mosaic was financed by an anonymous benefactor and given as a thank offering.
A detailed publication written by Dr. David Woolf is available in pdf format to help you appreciate the Mosaic more fully.