Stained Glass Windows
St Mark’s Church has a wide range of stained glass. The most impressive is the East Window.
The window is in memory of Ernest Mark Cecil Maples.
The design is based on the Benedictus in St Luke’s Gospel, and words from the first and second verse of the canticle are inscribed across the base of the window.
The window has saints down the two outer panels. At the top is Isaiah on the left and St John the Baptist on the right. The top inner lights have the Annunciation (left) and the Nativity (right).
The centre light which dominates the whole conception is the figure of Our Lord reigning from the Tree of Life. Stretching across the whole window is the rainbow round the throne and celestial rays emanate from the central figure. The two saints by Our Lord’s feet are David and Abraham.
At the top of the tree the pelican is feeding its young, the ancient symbol of sacrifice and redemption.
In the second group, left outer are St Alban and St Peter and on the right outer is St Augustine (Ernest Maples is buried in St Augustine Florida) and St Mark.
Below left St Nicholas Patron Saint of Sailors and right St Michael Patron Saint of Airmen.
In the base of the window there are groups of figures on both sides representing all types who bore with such courage and faith terrible events of war, and in many cases sacrificed their lives. In the middle is St George the patron saint of England and behind him is the rising sun of hope. At the very top of the window is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.
The window was designed by Gerald E R Smith and the work carried out by the A K Nicholson Stained Glass Studios London. The window was dedicated on 25th May 1947.
The airman in the bottom group of figures is said to be in the image of Ernest Maples. Just in front of his feet is either a tortoise or a turtle. The Loggerhead sea turtle is one of Florida’s state symbols and with Ernest’s connection with Florida it could be the latter.
Can you spot the robin on the Land Girl’s rake? It is also said that this Land Girl was the image of Nancy Jones, daughter of William Crewdson who laid the foundation stone of the present church.
People have asked why the rainbow is inverted in this window so that is the red at the bottom. One explanation is that like in nature when there are two rainbows the second is always inverted. This window was installed after the one in the Lady Chapel (side chapel). This window has the rainbow with the colour red at the top. You may have your own theories.
The first window put into this church was the one above the Font at the rear of the church it is in memory of Katherine wife of William Crewdson. The verse in the window comes from Matthew 19 v14 – ‘Suffer little children to come unto me’ (Suffer in early modern English meant allow).
The Lady Chapel window is dedicated to Keith Sinker. In the window there is a passage from Pilgrims Progress. This passage is quite often used at funerals. This window was also designed by Gerald E R Smith.
We have two new stained glass windows put in since the Millennium both on the south aisle. One is in memory of Lilian Wilkinson (left) and the other in memory of Rena Blight (right) Both of these windows were designed by Sarah Sutton of Kendal.
In the middle of these two new windows is a window in memory of George Keesey and his son John. George was killed at Ypres during WWI. John died as a prisoner of war after being captured at Arnhem during WWII. The window was made by Howard Martin of Swansea in 1947.