STAINED GLASS IN OVER WORTON
Over Worton’s windows are unusual in two respects; firstly there is quite a deal of writing in many of them, despite one of the primary objects of stained glass and other pictures in churches being to educate those who could not read and write. Secondly the figures illustrated in the aisle windows are four of the more obscure Old Testament prophets – very “unimportant” compared to figures usually pictured in such an expensive medium as stained glass.
The east window has very narrow panels of glass which echo the size and shape of the adjacent lancet windows on the north and south chancel windows. The design is bold and unusual, in clear bright colours, with pictures illustrating the phrases which wend between each vignette.
The altar window depicts scenes from the life of Christ, in the overall design of a Jesse tree (which more usually illustrates the lineage of Christ going directly back to Jesse, the father of David). It is flanked by the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, the overall effect saying “This is our faith!”
The lancet windows on either side of the chancel show scenes of charity from Matthew 25: 36-37 (“I was a stranger and ye took me in” “I was sick and ye visited me”...) showing that this is how to put that faith into practice.
The wording used comes from the Litany in the Book of Common Prayer, and the windows offer instruction in a rather puritanical way.
ALTAR & CHANCEL WINDOWS
The glass is signed C. Clutterbuck 1845.
Gardener’s Gazette of 1852 describes these windows as ‘more curious than beautiful’!
The two windows in the aisle depict four of the lesser prophets: Joel and Obadiah are on the east wall of the aisle, with Micah and Haggai on the adjacent south wall.
The Joel and Obadiah window appears to be the older of the two; it is quite worn and some panels have been replaced with plain glass, although the writing and pictures can still be made out. Above the prophets is emblazoned the message “The Lord will do great things”. The inscriptions under the prophets are “I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2: 28) and “The kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Obadiah 21); at the bottom is the name of the donor.
The Micah and Haggai window in the south wall appears to be a later creation based on the style of the other window, and carries the messages “He shall judge among many peoples” (Micah 4:3) and “I will shake the heavens and the earth” (Haggai 2: 6).
At the back of the nave is a more typically Victorian window, with three scenes from Jesus’s life, involving Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
On the left is the story of Mary and Martha: Martha becomes indignant that she is having to do all the work while Mary sits listening to Jesus (Luke 10: 38-42). The centre panel shows Lazarus miraculously being unbound from the grave clothes after being resurrected by Jesus (John 11). In the right-hand panel, Jesus is having his feet anointed with ointment by Mary and wiped with her hair (John 12)
Above these scenes are three angels and below is a dedication panel, in a very similar layout to the altar window in Steeple Barton. The bottom centre panel bears the name of Camm Birmingham (a firm of stained glass window designers founded in 1865).