Dedicated to the mother of the Virgin Mary but paying tribute to its patron, Lady Ann Bland, St Ann's was first consecrated in 1712.
'St Mary's much rebuilt, still stands of the same plot of land, now surrounded by the edifices of sophisticated materialism, which is probably more spiritually barren ground than the moral vileness of the 18th century.’ So said an Anglican historian of St Mary’s. Along with the church, on the same plot of land, the presbytery stands next to it, and has been continuously occupied since 1794.
Norman Adams huge Fourteen Stations of the Cross is one of the great ecclesiastical commissions in the country this century, and is an act of inspired patronage on the part of Canon Denis Clinch for St Mary's. Norman Adams considered them to be the greatest work of his life. The events of Holy Week are told with the horror which leads from innocence to the Cross.
It is a brave man or woman who looks straight into the death mask in the crucifixion, or a person without feeling who would not be deeply moved by the tenderness of the laments in the Women of Jerusalem.