STAINED GLASS IN SANDFORD ST MARTIN

MEDIAEVAL GLASS
...AND MODERN GLASS

In the top lights of the south aisle windows are some remarkable survivals of 14th century glass:  the Head of Christ, and Christ in Majesty.

Meanwhile in the north aisle is a modern window designed by John Piper (1903 - 1992).  The work was carried out by Patrick Reyntiens and installed in 1973.  It depicts St Martin dividing his cloak with his sword to share with a beggar. 

EAST WINDOW

St Martin, Patron Saint of this Church, was born 316 (or 336) AD in the Roman Province of Pannonia, now Hungary.  He was attracted to the Christian faith as a child and became a catechumen at the age of 10.  His father was an officer in the Roman Army, and Martin was forced to join the army too (when he was 15), against his wishes and beliefs, becoming an officer in Gaul. 

It was in these early years in the army that this story took place:  He was riding near the gates at Amiens when he came across a beggar clad in rags, shivering in the bitter cold of winter.  In compassion Martin took off his cloak and, with his military sword, cut it in two, giving half to the beggar and draping the other half on his own shoulders.  Some people thought him ridiculous, but that night he dreamt he saw Jesus, who said to the angels, “See!  This is the mantle that Martin, yet a catechumen, gave me.”  Shortly after, he was baptised and he asked to leave the army, saying “I am a soldier of Christ, it is not right that I should fight.”

Martin made his way to Tours where he became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, living an ascetic life of humility and compassion, serving others. He spoke out against the Arian heresy of the Imperial Court, and against Paganism, converting many to the Christian faith. Although wanting to be a hermit, he attracted a large following through his holiness and miracles, and his hermitage developed into the Benedictine Liguge Abbey, the oldest known monastery in Europe, a centre for evangelism in the country districts of Gaul.  In 371 he was (reluctantly) consecrated Bishop of Tours, chosen by the people.  Even as Bishop, he often withdrew to a hermitage in Marmoutier.  He died in Candes in 8th November, 397.   His Feast Day is 11th November.

CHANCEL WINDOWS

STAINED GLASS IN SANDFORD ST MARTIN

Meanwhile in the north aisle is a modern window designed by John Piper (1903 - 1992).  The work was carried out by Patrick Reyntiens and installed in 1973.  It depicts St Martin dividing his cloak with his sword to share with a beggar. 

In the top lights of the south aisle windows are some remarkable survivals of 14th century glass:  the Head of Christ, and Christ in Majesty.

MEDIAEVAL GLASS
...AND MODERN GLASS

St Martin, Patron Saint of this Church, was born 316 (or 336) AD in the Roman Province of Pannonia, now Hungary.  He was attracted to the Christian faith as a child and became a catechumen at the age of 10.  His father was an officer in the Roman Army, and Martin was forced to join the army too (when he was 15), against his wishes and beliefs, becoming an officer in Gaul. 

     It was in these early years in the army that this story took place:  He was riding near the gates at Amiens when he came across a beggar clad in rags, shivering in the bitter cold of winter.  In compassion Martin took off his cloak and, with his military sword, cut it in two, giving half to the beggar and draping the other half on his own shoulders. 

     Some people thought him ridiculous, but that night he dreamt he saw Jesus, who said to the angels, “See!  This is the mantle that Martin, yet a catechumen, gave me.” 

     Shortly after, he was baptised and he asked to leave the army, saying,

“I am a soldier of Christ, it is not right that I should fight.”

Martin made his way to Tours where he became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers, living an ascetic life of humility and compassion, serving others.  He spoke out against the Arian heresy of the Imperial Court, and against Paganism, converting many to the Christian faith. 

Although wanting to be a hermit, he attracted a large following through his holiness and miracles, and his hermitage developed into the Benedictine Liguge Abbey, the oldest known monastery in Europe, a centre for evangelism in the country districts of Gaul. In 371 he was (reluctantly) consecrated Bishop of Tours, chosen by the people.  Even as Bishop, he often withdrew to a hermitage in Marmoutier. 

 

He died in Candes in 8th November, 397.   His Feast Day is 11th November.

EAST WINDOW

The central panel has Christ holding the Chalice. In the panels to the left and right, angels are holding scrolls with the words: “Drink ye all of it: For this is my blood of the New Testament” (left) and “Which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (right).

 

Above the central and dominant figure of Christ are two angels holding a crown (Christ the King), and on either side, the letters alpha and omega.  Below Christ are the letters IHS (from the Greek letters of Jesus, or later interpretation, from the first letters of the Latin, Iesus Hominum Salvator).

 

Above and below the angels in the side panels are the Four Evangelists: on the left, St Matthew (man), and St Mark (lion); on the right, St Luke (bull), and St John (eagle).

 

The glass was designed by O’Connor & Sons, and made by William Holland of Warwick in 1862.  Michael O’Connor and his son Arthur were known for their heraldic work, which may explain the style of the figures.

     These men were influenced by the Cambridge Camden Society and by Thomas Willement, who brought about a revival in Mediaeval stained glass in the use of pot glass and decorative leadwork.

The unusual Eucharistic subject of the East window can be best understood in light of the people and religious movements in Oxford and North Oxfordshire at the time.  The Oxford Movement (Tractarians) was begun in 1833 by a group of young men in Oxford advocating a return to the faith in the doctrines and liturgy of the Church of England.  (One early leader was John Henry Newman who preached his first sermon at Holy Trinity Church, Over Worton.)

The Movement was opposed by the Evangelicals who feared “Romanisation” and division from non-conformist churches.  It was a time of strong religious and political debate, but both Movements aimed for a renewal of the faith after a long period of growing decadence and decline in the Church of England.  

 

It led to a revival in church art and architecture, looking back to the Mediaeval period when the Christian faith seemed at its height, and the restoration of churches which had fallen into neglect and disrepair.

The Rev Thomas Curme was vicar at Sandford St Martin from 1843 to 1884, and was instrumental in much of the restoration of the church.  A staunch Evangelical, he attracted large congregations and, interestingly, introduced more regular Eucharist services – once a month, rather than four times a year which had been the usual practice. 

 

He – and the Guest family – may have been influenced by the religious fervour roused by the Oxford Movement in North Oxfordshire, but also by Samuel Wilberforce who was Bishop of Oxford at that time (1845-1869).  Being of the High Church tradition and sympathetic to the Oxford Movement, Wilberforce was convinced of the importance of the Eucharist and encouraged more frequent Eucharistic services.

CHANCEL WINDOWS

On the north and south sides of the chancel are four lancet windows, two each side, of Victorian grisaille glass.

In 1856 the chancel was rebuilt by

GE Street, at the expense of Edwin Guest of Sandford Park.  The 14th century stone window was preserved and inserted in the new building.

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© 2015-19  The Barton Benefice

Write to us:    The Reverend Jane Wright, The Rectory, 29 Enstone Rd, Westcote Barton, Chipping Norton OX7 7AA

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