When the Cathedral was finished in 1917, St. Mary’s Chapel was first consecrated as the McClintock Chapel. The Chapel was the gift of Dr. J. C. McClintock and his wife in memory of his father and mother. This “handsome morning Chapel in the late Tudor or Perpendicular style” served Grace Cathedral for weekday and smaller services for most of the twentieth century.
When the devastating fire engulfed the Cathedral on November 26,1975, many of the Chapel appointments were carried from the burning cathedral and saved: the 1857 altar (now the All Saints Altar in the Cathedral’s East Transept), the brass eagle lectern (now used in the Cathedral), the Baptismal Font (originally in the Bethany College Chapel, now in the Chapel Narthex), and other brass appointments.
On either side of the Chapel Altar are two adoring angels, The Meade Windows, which were given in memory of Emily Jane Meade and John Macky Meade. The small lancette windows in the Chapel Sanctuary are thank offerings, The Kilmer Windows, given “in thanksgiving to God for the safe return from World War II of Charles Benedict Kilmer and Lloyd Lott Kilmer.” The black walnut hand-carved wainscoting on either side of the Altar was made from old pews that stood in the first permanent Grace Church building in Topeka. These windows and the wainscoting survived the fire with some damage.
Consecrated as St. Mary’s Chapel in 1978, all the appointments in the Chapel are devoted to women in the Bible. The triptych of windows on the east wall are (left to right) The Visitation: Elizabeth greeting Mary as she sings the Magnificat; The Flight: the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt; and The Holy Family: Joseph teaching the boy Jesus as Mary looks on. The walnut carvings at the bases of the arches are symbols relating to Mary or the Nativity. A hand-carved figurine of Mary and the Baby Jesus stands on the Sanctuary wall .