Womanhood Window

Douglas Strachan (1875-1850)


All Saints, Jesus Lane, Cambridge

This window by the major twentieth-century stained-glass designer Douglas Strachan shows the Christian virtues displayed by some well-known women: Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845), the Quaker prison reformer; Josephine Butler (1828-1906), another social reformer; Mother Cecile Isherwood (1862-1906), who founded a community in S. Africa, and Nurse Edith Cavell (1865-1915), familiar to everyone for her work and execution in World War I. Each of these women is featured in a vignette at the top or bottom of a side panel, the one on the left showing a woman giving charity to the needy, and the one on the right showing a woman visiting a sick person (with a pet dog looking on anxiously).

Shown at the top and bottom of the middle panel are scenes from the New Testament: the Woman at the Well of Samaria, and Mary Magdalene with the risen Christ. Central to all is the Virgin Mary with her infant — and a boy scout. The window is, in fact, full of interest. [Commentary continues below.]

Photographs taken and kindly sent in by Adrian Powter, who retains the copyright. Text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on all the images to enlarge them, and mouse over the text for links.]