Featured Article: Stained Glass Windows of St. Luke's Church

Posted on Sunday, March 02, 2014 @ 22:30:00 UTC in Articles

Stained Glass Windows of St Luke’s Church

Records suggest that stained glass windows were first introduced in the first century. However, from the beginning of the 11th century, many churches were built in England and it was during this period that stained glass windows were introduced, using coloured glass held in place with strips of lead. These windows typically showed representations of biblical characters and teachings and were used for both decorative and informative purposes. Often windows were donated by members of the congregation or by families as memorials of loved ones.

Unfortunately, many of these early windows were destroyed during the period of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and by Oliver Cromwell’s puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Stained glass windows were produced by both individuals as the designer and manufacturer and by firms employing artists/designers and craftsmen. Commercial manufacture had commenced in the 1830’s, and there were some twenty-five firms that exhibited their work at the Great Exhibition of 1851. However, around this time, William Morris advocated the return to cottage crafts and the use of old skills and together with a number of his peers, formed what is now known as the Arts and Crafts Movement. This in turn led to a major revival of the use of stained glass in churches throughout the country, with members of the public contributing to the commissioning of windows for the local parish church.

Churches are generally large buildings, consequently architects designed the building to include large windows to let in as much light as possible. Typically, windows tended to be either two or three light lancet windows. In addition, trefoil and quatrefoil windows were included within the design, such as those that can be seen in St Luke’s.

When St Luke’s was first built, all of the windows which, with the exception of the East Window, are either two or three light windows, were of plain glass except for an inner border of red glass in line with the tracery of each window. This can be seen today in the upper windows of the nave, the large West window and the glazed windows in the tower. It was not until August 1910 that the first stained glass window, in memory of Isabelle Tomkins (nee dePury ), was installed in the south wall of the chancel. Today, there are a total of eleven such windows all of which, with the exception of the window commemorating the Centenary of St Luke’s, are memorial windows. The windows are a mixture of standard designs and designs by renowned artists.

The Artists/Designers

J. Wilson Forster

Joseph Wilson Forster was a Victorian artist born in the district of Chorlton in 1861. Son of Joseph Binyon Forster and his wife Mary (nee Beakbane), he studied at the Royal Academy School c.1892. In 1894 he married Ethel Rawlinson, daughter of George Rawlinson, Canon of Canterbury. For many years, Joseph Wilson Forster lived at 36 Falconer Road, Bushey, Herts and used brick built studios at the rear of the premises. Described as a Painter and Illustrator and worker in stained glass, he ran a school of Arts and Crafts in Bushey c.1910-1915 and later at 36 Falconer Road. He died in 1938. The East window and one other in St Luke’s were designed by J. Wilson Forster. (see below)

Jessie Bayes

Jessie Bayes was born in London in 1878, the youngest daughter of the artist Alfred Bayes and his wife Emily (nee Fielden) and sister to the painter Walter Bayes and sculptor Gilbert Bayes. They lived in Fellows Road, West Hampstead.
Jessie became a painter, illuminator and muralist in the traditions of Walter Crane and the Arts and Craft Movement and also a designer of stained glass windows. She was appointed a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (RMS) in 1906 and a member of the Council 1925-1935. She was also a member of the Church Crafts League and exhibited at the Royal Academy from1908.
Jessie Bayes died whilst living in Paddington in 1970. Five of the windows in St Luke’s were designed by Jessie Bayes, four in collaboration with the firm Goddard & Gibbs and one with the William Aikman studio in Sutton. (see below)

Photo of Jessie Bayes
A young Jessie Bayes

Photo of Bayes Family
Jessie, brothers Walter & Gilbert & sister Emmie

 


Glenn Carter

Glenn Carter was born in 1970 and initially trained as a Graphic Designer at Portsmouth College of Art prior to becoming a freelance designer, maker and restorer of painted and stained glass windows, moving to Lincolnshire in 1995. His work on ecclesiastical buildings can be seen in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Hampshire and during the period of 1995 to 2000, he worked at Lincoln Cathedral on the restoration of the Dean eye window. His signature, to be seen on many of his designs, including the window in St Luke’s, is a lighthouse.

The Manufacturers

Jessie Bayes Windows
Goddard & Gibbs

Goddard & Gibbs was initially established by Walter Gibbs in Blackfriars Road, London in 1868. Today, the company works in the production and restoration of traditional stained glass and architectural glass. Windows produced by the company can usually be distinguished by their signature of two entwined letters G , one reversed, although this signature is not included within the St Luke’s window designs.

William Aikman Studio

William Aikman was born in Edinburgh in 1868. He moved to London in 1892, working for James Powell & Sons after which he set up his own studio in 1913. He also taught at Camberwell School of Art following the end of the Great War. In 1921, he became a founder member of the British Society of Master Glass Painters. William Aikman moved to Sutton in 1934 and died in 1959.

Standard Windows
Heaton Butler & Bayne

Established in 1852 by Clement Heaton, who went into partnership with Robert Butler in 1855, the firm established a studio in Covent Garden and became a leading firm as Gothic Revival stained glass manufacturers, producing stained glass windows for many churches throughout Britain and Europe. An example of their work can also be seen in Westminster Abbey and Wimborne Minster. The St Luke’s window is signed.

Percy Bacon & Brothers

Percy Bacon was born in Ipswich in 1860 and established his studio in Newman Street, London in 1882. By 1901, he was known as an artist, painter and sculptor, working with his two brothers. The company also worked in collaboration with James Powell & Sons.
The company signature is generally either the Bacon family shield or three bees to represent the three Bacon brothers.

James Powell & Sons

James Powell was born in 1774 and was a Wine Merchant before purchasing, in 1834, Whitefriars Glass, a company which had been established in c.1680. James died in1840 and the firm was then run by his sons and later grandsons. It became a major business in the glass making world with a large part of its production relating to church stained glass windows, particularly in the 19th century during the period of the Gothic Revival. Samples of this work can also be seen in Liverpool cathedral and St Thomas church in New York. The company changed its name to Powell & Sons (Whitefriars) in 1919, and moved to new premises in Wealdstone in 1923. The business closed in 1980.
The Powell designer of the St Luke’s window was J. Hodges, a designer employed in the 1920/30s and the cartoonist was A.F. Erridge, (1899-1961), a glass painter and designer. Their signature is in the form of a monk etched onto their windows, as can be seen on the St Luke’s window, bottom left.

 

The Windows to be seen in St Luke’s are shown below, together with related text.

East Window

Photo of East Window at St Luke's Church Grayshott

Depicting:

Christ in Glory

Designer:

Joseph Wilson Forster

Memorial to:

Edward Blakeway I’Anson & Catherine Blakeway I’Anson

Date:

1918

A signed board by J. Wilson Forster describes his design as follows:
In the figure of Christ I have endeavoured to express Immortality and Love inspired & illuminated by the Divine Light emanating from God-whose Almighty Presence is symbolised (in the central light of the tracery) by the Greek letters Alpha & Omega, surrounded by the Circle as expressing Infinitude-the Triangle as signifying the Trinity in Unity and by flames of unquenchable Love.
Beneath the Feet of the Christ blooms the Tree of Life- its roses are symbolical of love- as are also the parent birds with their nest of young ones.
Below is the dawn of the rising sun (which might be expressed in the words:-Arise, shine, for thy light has come, & the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee)
Its rays are reflected in the river of life.
The lilies are emblems of purity.
The censing Angels represent God’s ministers-the one offering up to Him the prayers of His children, the other casting the fruition of them in blessings over the earth.
The groups of Angels are celestial beings, praising God, and expressing their joy on divers instruments of music- as are also the child Angels playing upon harps.
The Vine & the Fig, both are symbols of the Divine Life:- the Vine of the Blood-which is the Life-and the Fig symbolising that it blossoms interiorly.
Above all hovers the Holy Spirit “descending from heaven like a Dove”.

Chancel-South Wall

Photo of window on the South Wall at St Luke's Church

Depicting:

The Resurrection

Designer/Manufacturer:

Heaton, Butler & Bayne-(signed)

Memorial to:

Isabelle M Tomkins-nee dePury
1875-1908

Date:

1910

 South Aisle-East to West

Photo of window in South Aisle in St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Luke writing his Gospels.

Designer:

Jessie Bayes

Manufacturer:

William Aikman studios

Memorial to:

Alexander Ingham Whitaker & Berthe C. Whitaker

Date:

1953

 

Jessie Bayes describes her design as follows:
The central figure is St Luke writing his Gospels. Below is a winged Ox, his symbol in Sacred art. Ezekial 1-10.
The Angel on the left carries a stole, the symbol of Obedience and a cup of Healing. The four herbs are Coltsfoot, Euphrasia, Calendula and Balsam. The censer of incense is a symbol of Prayer. Revelations 8-3. The Angel on the right holds the lamp of truth in Holy Scripture. The four herbs are Digitalis, Chamomile, Rose Hips and Marjoram.
Below is the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary pierced by a sword, as foretold by Simeon when he uttered the Nunc Dimittis as recorded in the Gospel of St Luke 2-35

Photo of window on south aisle St Lukes Church

Depicting:

Sacrifice of Issac
David-Abraham-George

Designer/Manufacturer:

Percy Bacon

Memorial to:

2nd Lt. Arthur Brickwood-1st Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment

Date:

1915

 

Photo of window of South Aisle St Lukes Church

Depicting:

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Designer:

Glenn Carter-(signed)

Commemorates:

Centenary of St Luke’s

Date:

2000

An extract from Glenn Carter’s description of his design:
I have taken as a theme for my window the Power of the Holy spirit as described by St Luke in the Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-4. In choosing this symbolism of the Holy Spirit I was also mindful of the dedication given to Guildford Cathedral and the village of Grayshott which lies in an area of breckland where fire has been used as a renewing seasonal control. At the top of each flame and lit by the fire is a light or star. These are symbolic of the seven lamps and gifts of the Holy Spirit which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, ghostly strength, knowledge, true godliness and holy fear.
The landscape around the church is of important significance and this is featured in the design and detail of the window. Within the centre light at the top is a glowing area of blue. This area is representative of the Devil’s Punchbowl. Below these blues lie tinted greens forming a backdrop across the whole three windows being interspersed with yellows. The flames offer a strong yet lapping movement upwards through the lights and will be of orangey reds and yellows, interspersed with colours of the landscape; purples for heather, pinks for coniferous woodland.
Within each light there is a small cameo taken from the local landscape. The left hand window contains a spray of heather in a bed of purple and violets. The centre window shows a representation of oak leaves and acorns surrounded by deciduous greens; symbolic of one of the trees that were considered when building the cross and considered a wood of endurance and strength of faith and virtue. It is also the emblem of the National Trust who oversee a lot of the local landscape. In the right hand window and set in a brown tinted background is a gorse branch, again a plant found on the heath and a representative of the fragrance and beauty of the open heath-land.
Below the inclusions are the words, “ Rejoice in the Lord Always” and below the centenary dates 1900-2000.

Photo of window of south aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

Adoration of the Shepherds

Designer:

J. Hodges

Cartoonist:

A. F. Erridge

Manufacturer:

James Powell & Sons-(signed)

Memorial to:

Katherine May Lowry

Date:

1936

North Aisle-East to West

Photo of window on north aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Peter, Christ and St Paul

Designer:

Jessie Bayes

Manufacturer:

Goddard & Gibbs

Memorial to:

Rev. James M. Jeakes and Albert Simms-Vicars of St Luke’s:1901-1907 & 1908-1926.

Date:

1961

 

Photo of window on north aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Augustine of Canterbury, St Francis of Assisi, St Hilda of Whitby

Designer:

Jessie Bayes

Manufacturer:

Goddard & Gibbs

Memorial to:

Marjory Pearman

Date:

1955

 

Photo of window on north aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Matthew, St John the Divine, St Mark

Designer:

Jessie Bayes

Manufacturer:

Goddard & Gibbs

Memorial to:

Theodore Pearman

Date:

1956

 

Photo of window on north aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Clement, St Elizabeth, St Martin

Designer:

Joseph Wilson Forster

Memorial to:

C. E. Lowry

Date:

1926

 

Photo of window on north aisle of St Lukes Church

Depicting:

St Patrick, St David, St Margaret

Designer:

Jessie Bayes

Manufacturer:

Goddard & Gibbs

Memorial to:

Robert C. Duggan

Date:

1962


Brian Tapp
Grayshott Village Archive

Related GVA Articles:
The early years of St Luke’s Church
The Churchyard of St Luke’s & Other Memorials
History of St Luke's Church

 

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