You may or may not have noticed that at the front of our church we have two very beautiful stained glass windows. When the light falls on them at just the right time of day, they flood the front of the church with an angelic light that warms all around.
Both are memorial windows.
They were not originally part of the church building. Prior to 1983 the church had another home on the corner of Park road and Washway road. Unfortunately this beautiful church had to be demolished as it was no longer safe and too costly to fix.
The members of the church saved the beautiful stained glass windows and had them moved to the then new building and they still stand today.
The first memorial window is the Roll of Honour, erected:
“To the Glory of God, and in honour of those of our Church and Sunday School who died for us and our country”.
Friends and relatives, and also members of this congregation, who gave their lives during the Great War of 1914 to 1919 were as follows:
- C Ackerley
- B Anderson
- J Arther
- C Bridgewood
- J Burgess
- W T Carrier
- A Chadwick
- L S Craven
- H Greaves
- R Hughes
- F Jackson
- A Johnson
- W Kelsall
- E Lamb
- C L Lees
- E Matthew
- W Mills
- J W Southern
- N Trueblood
- J A Vietch
- F Willaims
- H Wood
And those who gave their lives during the Second World War of 1939 to 1945 were:
- Cecil Collins
- Arthur Draisley
- Ernest Frame
- Victor Leslie King
- William Prest
- Louis Arthur Schofield
- Goeffrey Webb
The other is the Caritas Window which has now stood for almost 135 years.
The window was designed by Burne Jones, the famous painter, and the subject is ‘Caritas’ — love — standing on a green sward, clothed in a ruby garment of perfect graduation in colour.
A tracery of green leaves above and underneath is engraved with the following inscription:
“To the memory of Catherine, the wife of Joseph Johnson, who entered into the perfect life of love on Sunday, 7th June 1885.”
At the unveiling the Revd Johnson delivered this short address:
“Behind us lie the unspeakable memories of the past and before us the ineffable hopes of the future. Love is the golden link that unites the present to all that has been and will be. Love is the spiritual stream of influence that flows through and round all events. There is no space to love and no time. Love stands before us as the soul of the universe, Divine and human, a being clothed in loveliness, a calm, quiet figure, a woman. Her eyes look straight forward, with hope and faith, into the eyes of all who need her. From her heart comes the holy flame of purity and sacrifice, cleansing and serving being her supreme mission. She stands humbly with shoeless feet in the common way, finding or making the whole earth holy ground. Love needs no aureole round her head. Her spiritual influence is her own glory going forth in lambert flames of light.
“Against the hymn “Walk in the Light”, she, whose memorial is this window, wrote in pencil, “This Light is Love”. The great artist of this picture has transposed that thought and told us “This Love is Light”, and it springs alike from the head and heart, from mind and feeling, sanctifying the whole nature and the entire personality. It is in the life, part of the very being, something more than an abstract quality, a living power, divine and human. Above all, it is holy and unquenchable. The wind does not blow it out; it only fans the sacred flame. It sheds abroad a bright glow of warm and radiant sympathy. It is kindled from within, but it shines through all day and night. The flame of love consumes all evil in passion, all foulness and wrong, and grows until self is burnt away. This is, in brief, the picture of the perfect life.
Nothing could be a more fitting emblem and memorial of her who lived among us, walking with God, and “was not, for God took her”. For her love was and is all, and “death is naught”. How much today she rejoices with us in the completion of this work, we cannot tell. May her spirit still abide among us to ever rebuke all unlovingness in us, and may her influence and prayers bring us daily into more heavenly lovingness in union with God, for ‘God is Love’.”
Written by Alf Joyce with edits and introduction by Becky Vanden