Natural light bathes the white walls of St. Mary's. Stately columns direct the eye and spirits upward to an elegant barrel-vault ceiling. This is Christopher Wren's vision of a parish church - grand in its simple grace.
"Nothing can add beauty to light," said Christopher Wren, and clear glass lets the beauty in. Following Wren's design, the replacement windows are clear, hand-blown glass manufactured by the Blenko Glass Company.
Columns add height and grandeur. Seven of the columns capitals are original, while the other five are replacements that were created from the same quarry Wren used to rebuild this church in the 17th century. The Ionic and Corinthian elements reflect Wren's eclectic borrowing of classical forms.
Marshall Sisson, a 20th-century British restoration architect, executed the subtle Wren ceiling designs. He was joined by a team of local craftsmen as well as Epple Construction of Columbia, Missouri. Depicted are the Tudor Rose (for the Monarchy), the Virgin Mary Rose (for St. Mary), the daisy (for innocence), the acanthus leaf (symbolizing heaven), and the egg-and-dart (another classical touch).
Illumination is by chandeliers that replicate original Wren designs - with electricity added. N-L Lighting of Cleveland, Ohio manufactured them.
The nave focuses attention on the altar. The altar table was created for St. Mary's in 1983, and replicates the Wren-era style found in the Church of St. Vedast, Foster lane, the successor parish to St. Mary.
The altar floor is black and white marble. The text of the Ten Commandments is from the 17th century Prayer Book in use during Wren's time.
The brass altar set is a gift from the St. Louis Friends of the America's National Churchill Museum.
The carvings, including the columns above each vestry door, are from another Wren church in London. They date from the 17th century and are in the style of woodcarver, Grinling Gibbons, who created masterpieces for St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
The carvings on the reredos, baptismal, and balcony are by Arthur Ayers of London, also in the style of Gibbons.
The lighter carvings are of lime wood; the other carvings are of oak.
All other woodwork is American oak, executed in the Wren-period style.
The pulpit is from the Church of All Hallows, London, where it was installed in 1683. All hallows burned in the Great Fire of London and was rebuilt by Christopher Wren. The pulpit was given to America's National Churchill Museum by the Diocese of London as a memorial to those who died on September 11, 2001.
As a young fire warden in 1940, Noel Mander watched St. Mary burn. As a mature and distinguished organ builder, Mander built the 38-rank tracker organ for the church at Westminster College.
The 18th century organ case is from the Woolwich Parish Church, Kent. The organ contains two ranks of 18th century pipes.