St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Saints and Intercessors

As with many Catholic churches, St Werburgh's has a fine collection of statuary of Jesus, Mary and many saints. Historically, there have been reactions against the sheer number of such statues and sometimes their opulence and the exuberant decoration of Church paintings and other artwork. During the Reformation, many Churches were stripped of their art by 'iconoclasts', who brought charges of idolatry, the worship of graven images expressly forbidden in the Old Testament.

But in the Catholic tradition, statues are not regarded as objects of worship in themselves, but rather as representations of saints or other holy figures whose lives are worthy of contemplation, and who act as intercessors, intermediaries for conveying a supplicant's prayers to God.

Often, the statues are of figures so well known in Church tradition that no description or caption is posted, and this may make them mysterious to the visitor who is not well versed in Catholic tradition. In this portion of the website, we describe the statues in St Werburgh's Church, paying tribute to the benefactors who have presented them as gifts to the Church, and explaining their significance in the life of the Church.