The Three Maries at the Sepulchre The Angel and Mary Magdalen

Left: Whole window, showing the three Maries. Right: Mary Magdalene stands back, behind the angel.

The Three Maries, by Lavers, Barraud & Westlake, dated 1864. This is the east window of the south chapel in St Nicholas Church, in the still "relatively unspoilt" part of Thames Ditton (Nairn and Pevsner 481). It shows an angel addressing the Virgin Mary and another Mary (according to Mark 16: 1, the other Mary is "Mary the mother of James"). The women have come to anoint Jesus's body, but a "young man" sitting to the right of the empty sepulchre tells them "he is risen; he is not here" (16: 6). Standing on her own to the right, Mary Magdalene is the first to encounter the risen Christ in the garden. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

At the bottom of the window we learn that it was installed in memory of Emma Johnston, wife of Patrick Johnston and eldest daughter of the Reverend Edward Lane Sayer. Sayer's name appears in a list of Carthusians (pupils of Charterhouse school): "Sayer, Edward Lane, 1814. Son of Henry Jenkinson Sayer, Solicitor, b. 1806. St. John's Coll. Cam. Vicar of Pulloxhill, Beds. Died at Thames Ditton 1868." So the father only outlived his daughter for a few years.

The window has a light touch, with flowers, such as the lily-of-the-valley at Mary Magdalene's feet, and floral and foliate designs even in the trimmings of the robes. It speaks of hope and consolation, and the text above the angel reads, "Why seek ye the living among the dead?" (Luke 24: 5).

Photographs and text 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 in a web document or cite it in a print one.

Other windows in St Nicholas


Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St Nicholas, Thames Ditton, Surrey." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 20 December 2014.

"List of Carthusians, 1800-1879/S." Wikisource. Web. 20 December 2014.

Nairn, Ian, Nikolaus Pevsner, rev. Bridget Cherry. The Buildings of England: Surrey. 2nd ed. London: Penguin, 1971.

Last modified 20 December 2014