Unique windows of St John's Church

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Thread Topic: Unique windows of St John's Church
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date May 10, 2011 @ 4:17 PM
 Unique windows of St John's Church
 Unique windows of St John's Church

Mike Laughton
May 10, 2011 @ 4:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Stamford's St John's Church has some unique stained glass windows on the southern side of the building.
At first glance the scene in one of  the stained glass windows appears to be a typical picture of the Holy Family with Mary, Joseph and the youthful Jesus. It is only when you look more closely that you realise the young boy portraying Jesus is sporting a short-back-and-sides haircut of the early 20th Century  rather than a biblical hairstyle.
And there is something strange in the biblical scene depicted in an adjoining stained glass window.
This time it is an elderly man who catches the eye. While everyone else has biblical hairstyles and headwear  this one particular character is sporting whiskery sideburns of the kind favoured by William Ewart Gladstone.
The stained glass windows  date from an age when it was traditional for wealthy people to donate a stained glass window to their parish church in memory of a loved one who had died. It soon became the fashion to have the deceased's likeness incorporated into the window as one of the characters in a biblical scene.  The practice only lasted for a few short years during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. But the stained glass windows in St John's  are excellent examples.
The elderly man with the sideburns was in fact a former rector of St John's, Rev Walter Hiley MA, who died in August, 1896. The memorial window, which appropriately depicts the evangelists being commanded to Go out and preach unto the World was installed by the deceased rector's mother-in-law, Mrs Johanna Brotherton at the turn of the 20th Century.
The neighbouring memorial window was installed during the reign of Edward VII in honour of a much loved parishioner Constance Emma Anklemans  Sandall who died on November 20, 1904 aged 62.  In an inscription she is described as a much-loved mother and wife and district visitor of the parish. There would have a been a lot of poverty in the town during those times and the district visitor would try to help parishioners who were in dire need of food or medical treatment. It was a voluntary role carried out on behalf of the church.
The image of Constance Sandall, complete with Edwardian hairstyle,  is depicted in a new testament scene. The small boy portraying Jesus in the adjoining scene is believe to be her son who died when he was 11-years-old.
St John's is now looked after by the Church's Conservation Trust and although it is no longer used regularly for services, it is open daily to visitors and stages special event throughout the year.
Kate: I really enjoyed reading that Mike.  I will load the photos of the windows so that I can compare your comments alongside the windows.  Might even get in that Church to see them.  Thanks so much.

St John's Church window 1

St John's Church window 2

St John's Church window 3

St John's Church window 4
St John's Church window 5

St John's Church window 6

St John's Church window 7

January 7, 2014 @ 7:11 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I have the Rev Walter Hiley's beautiful and ornate umbrella! Thank you for the information