Photographs, captions, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee, with many thanks to the parish office for help and advice. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. [Click on the images for larger pictures, in order to see the details discussed.]

Rose Window and West Window

Rose Window, St Peter's Church, Staines West Window, St Peter's Church, Staines

The rose window and west window of St Peter's Church, Laleham Road, Staines, Surrey, by Edward Arthur Fellowes Prynne (1854-1921), executed by James Jennings. 1913. These form a thematic unit. The centre of the rose window represents the coming of the Holy Spirit, with a dove complemented by tongues of fire. Around it are angels bearing scrolls identifying the virtues enumerated in Galatians 5, v. 22-23, starting with love at the top, and joy and peace, and longsuffering, either side (see also Welcome). This "pouring forth of the Holy Spirit" serves to crown the subjects of the two lights below, "the Annunciation and the Ascension: the first and last events of the life of Christ recorded in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles" which in turn "lead up to the subjects of the East window" (Taylor, Souvenir, 13). This kind of thematic development is possible only when the same artist designs all the windows in a church.

Closer views of the Annunciation Window

Left: Whole light, showing three angels in each top corner, and the dove of the Holy Spirit above the Archangel Gabriel in the centre. Right: Close-up of the lower part, showing Mary receiving the tidings from Gabriel, flanked by Isaiah and Jacob on one side, and King David and St. Luke on the other.

The names of the figures to the left and right of Mary appear on their halos. The prophet Isaiah holds a quill and a scroll, while Jacob clasps his hands in prayer. On the other side, King David holds his harp and St Luke has his gospel open. St Luke was the only one to record the Annunciation, and his gospel is open at the text (written in English) mentioning both David and Jacob: "The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever" (I, v.32-33). As for Isaiah, after the temptations in the wilderness, Jesus himself would read the book of Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth, and tell those gathered there: "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4, v. 21). The banner above Mary reads, "Ecce Ancilla Domini" ("Behold the Handmaid of the Lord").

Closer views of the Ascension Window

Left: Whole light, showing the ascension, with the men of Galilee looking up in wonder, archangels holding scrolls above them, and angels welcoming Jesus into heaven. Right: Close-up of the higher part, with Jesus flanked by the archangels.

The archangels' scrolls bear text from words spoken to the apostles, by "two men ... in white apparel," in Acts I, v.11: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." The Christian story is beautifully and harmoniously told in Prynne's windows, which incorporate angels' faces in the tracery, Biblical texts on scrolls or below the figures, and fully-realised natural backgrounds. Both in form and meaning, they have a powerful cumulative effect on anyone who stops to admire and "read" them.

Other Stained Glass Windows in St Peter's, Staines

Sources

"Architects and Artists I-J-K" (see under Jennings). Sussex Parish Churches. Web. 20 October 2013.

Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St Peter, Staines, Surrey." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 20 October 2013.

Taylor, John M. Centenary Souvenir: St Peter's Church, Staines. Shepperton: Ian Allan, 1973 (brochure available at the church). Print.

_____. Souvenir of the 75th Anniversary of St Peter's Church, Laleham Road, Staines. Shepperton: Ian Allan, 1969 (brochure available at the church). Print.

Welcome to St Peter's Church, Staines Parish: A Guide to the Stained Glass Windows. Available at the church. Print.


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Last modified 29 October 2013