The seven stainend glass windows in the chancel and tower are one of the chief glories of the church. They were made by William Morris & Co from the designs of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and are generally recognised to be some of their finest work. The three light east window in the chancel, was erected in 1893, to commemorate the marriage of Burne Jones’s daughter, Margaret. The Burne -Jones lived across the green from the church and were frequent visitors to the church. The window represents the three archangels, Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. Underneath are panels representing the Annunciation; Michael slaying the dragon and Raphael the guardian of little children.
Angels are messengers from God. Three of the special messengers mentioned in the Bible are the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The names of each of these archangels tell us about the work God gave them to do.
Michael’s name means “who is like God.” God gave Michael the responsibility of protecting us as God protects us. Gabriel’s name means “hero of God.” Gabriel is God’s hero because he communicates God’s message to people. We remember Gabriel best for being the angel who announced to Mary that she would be the mother of God’s only Son. Raphael’s name means “God has healed.” In the Bible, Raphael heals a blind man and is said to have stirred the water in a pool where Jesus healed a paralyzed man. On the feast day of the archangels, we remember that God’s messengers guide us in our journey to everlasting life with our Father. We can pray to Michael when we face temptation. We can ask to Gabriel to help us say “yes” to God as Mary did so many years ago. We can pray to Raphael when we are ill or know someone who is in need of healing. We honor the archangels as saints. They remind us that God is always with us and that God loves so much about us that he gives us special helpers to light and guide us to him.
Blessed Virgin Mary 1984 Morris & Co This window, in the south wall of the chancel, was given by the Rev Arthur Thomas, vicar from 1848 to 1895, in memory of his wife
3 Maries at the Tomb 1922 by Caroline Townshend
Tree of Jesse 1897 Morris & Co (Burne-Jones) This lancet window: in the north side of the tower was one of two given by the parishioners in 1897 in memory of the Rev. Arthus Thomas, and represents Jacob’s vision.
Christ & disciples; Baptism
Jesus & Doctors; Holy Family
Adoration of Magi; Nativity
The Eucharist 2004
The window was executed to the design of Mr Andrew Taylor. The window depicts the Eucharist the earthly products of water and wheat on one side and the other shows the chalice and host (Bread) under a cross surrounded by a crown of thorns.
1897 Morris & CoSir Edward Burne-Jones
Annunciation By Clayton & Belland 1862
The Annunciation: Luke 1.26-38:
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her. The Annunciation must be one of the most commonly depicted scenes in the history of art. From paintings, to music, to poetry and narrative, the story of Gabriel’s message to Mary—infused with doubt and belief, joy and sorrow, fear and comfort—has proved to be remarkably generative for both the life of faith and the creative impulse. It is a story sharing space with both devastation and hope, and this means it is a story for all of us, whoever we are and wherever we are in life. The Annunciation seems almost forgotten today aside from its prevalence in the arts. But it’s newness, that radical new beginning it brought about, was once felt more readily. Lady Day, exactly nine months before we celebrate the birth of Jesus, was once the beginning of the new year. Filled with promise and yet also that abruption, that shock, that fright, the risk of new beginnings always brings. The Annunciation is a story ripe for both the rejoicings and the questions and uncertainties that life carries, and it’s about opening up and receiving all of it.
This is Mary’s story in an irreducible particularity and at the same time the story of each of us, of any of us, met with the perfect love of God in the midst of our fear, our struggle, our poverty and weakness, our insecurity and doubt and hearing the words: ‘The Lord is with you, do not be afraid’. And it is an opportunity for each of us to respond, to enter into that risk, that freedom, that openness; to say ‘yes’ to such a love. And this opportunity is gifted to us because the story is as much or more about God’s opening up to us as Mary’s opening up to God’s plan and salvation. Mary opens up and receives God-among-us, Emmanuel, but God in Christ is also opening up and welcoming human life and experience. At the root of the Annunciation is the new, radical, earthy manifestation of ‘The Lord is with you’. The God of the universe opens up entirely to us, entirely to the weakness and beauty of humanity—God in the womb, in the manger, who walks among our streets, holds little children, touches lepers, who dies in human flesh. There is no greater welcome, no wider openness, no fuller embrace, and no invitation more joyful than this.