Christ as Love, with the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist, from designs by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), made by the Morris Co. and installed in the north transept of St Cybi's Church, Holyhead, Anglesey, in 1927. The window is in memory of Reverend Thomas Edwin Jones, the last Oxford incumbent, who had died in 1925.

The church's connection with Oxford had dated back to the Reformation, when Henry VIII allowed his supporters, Thomas Gwynn and his nephew Rhys Gwynn, "to purchase the land and tithes. In 1648 they gave them to Oxford for the maintenance of two Fellows and as many scholars" (Roberts 26). This started a long association with Jesus College, which lasted until the twentieth century, and helps to explain St Cybi's very fine interior.

At the centre of the window is the very same Christ figure that can be seen far away in the south chapel of St Mary the Virgin, Great Warley, Essex, robed in red, wearing the crown of thorns, bearing the stigmata, and holding a wooden cross with leaves springing from it. However, here the background is sea-blue drapery, and the figure is flanked by different figures — a prayerful Virgin Mary, and St John holding out his chalice — against the same blue background. It is interesting to see how Burne-Jones's designs not only continued to be used after his death, but were reused in different combinations and with different settings. This mix-and-match approach presumably developed in order to answer the individual church's or donor's requirements and taste, perhaps also to avoid having exactly the same versions of a window in different locations. The background colour is appropriate here, for an island church on a low cliff by the sea, and St John, proffering the chalice, was also perfect choice for a memorial window for a clergyman.

Photographs by Dennis Eaton, and kindly sent in by Dr J. K. Roberts. Text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [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 or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Related Material

Sources

"Church of St. Cybi, Holyhead, Anglesey." Stained Glass in Wales / Gwydr Lliw yng Nghymru. Web. 27 October 2015.

Roberts, Dr. J. K. The History of St Cybi's Church. Holyhead: Anglesey County Council, 2008.


Created 27 October 2015