Situated at the back of the church above the font, it was designed by Vicky Fleming of Church Farm, Steeple Barton, made by Peter Archer of Chapel Studio Stained Glass in Kings Langley, and dedicated by the Rector Graeme Arthur in November 2000. The church is named for St Mary the Virgin, whose purity is traditionally represented by a white lily, hence the lily design.
Several of our churches commissioned windows to celebrate the Millennium, and Steeple Barton’s is one of the best.
STAINED GLASS IN STEEPLE BARTON
The window over the altar is thought to be made by Heaton, Butler and Bayne glaziers in 1872.
The left side of the triptych depicts Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, with his disciples found sleeping, while he prayed to His Father to take the cup of suffering away from him. A sword in the arms of one of the disciples indicates it to be Peter, who cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant.
On the right, Jesus is carrying his cross on the Via Dolorosa. Behind him the haloed women are probably Mary (in the white cloak with the purple dress and purple aureole) and Mary Magdalene (in red).
The centre panel is the Resurrection with Jesus rising out of the tomb, holding the banner of victory (a white flag with a red cross).
Above the main triptych are three angels, carrying the words “I am the resurrection and the life”, emphasising the resurrection theme of the centre panel. The angel at the top holds a crown of thorns in his right hand and a kingly crown in his left hand.
whose most dear Son went not up to joy
but first suffered pain,
and entered not into glory before he was crucified:
mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross,
may find it none other than the way of life and peace:
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
At the bottom of the east window, a panel (see close up below) shows the window is dedicated to Henry Hall, brewer, of Barton Abbey, who played a large part in the restoration of the church in the 19th century, and who died in 1862.
It includes the significant letters Alpha, Omega, and IHS, which are echoed in a wooden panel behind the altar (which also includes IHC).
The two windows (above) on the south side of the chancel depict the four Evangelists, and are thought to have been made by William Gualbert Saunders in 1878.
The left window shows Matthew and Mark, and the right Luke and John; each has both his name and his symbolic winged creature beneath his feet - respectively a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.