St Albans Church Logo

Stained Glass Window

 

St. Hilary - Feast Day 28th February


A Deacon. Trusted aide to Pope Saint Leo the Great. Papal legate. Sent to Ephesus to report on the Monophysitism heresies of Euyches, which denied the humanity of Christ and claimed he had only a devine nature, and teaching condemned in 451 by the Council of Chalcedon. Eutyches' followers attacked the legate party, and forced them to return to Rome.
46th Pope, as Pope, Hilary confirmed the work of several general councils, rebuilt and remodeled many churches, and held several Councils at Rome. Renowned for defending the rights of his bishops while exhorting them to curb their excesses and devote themselves more completely to God. Helped define the Church's role in the empire, and affirmed the position of the pope, and not the emperor, as leader in spiritual matters.
Born in Sardinia, Papal Ascension 19th November 461, Died 28th Feberuary 468.
(In memory of Hilary Kenny one of our servers killed in the First World War. The face of the Saint shown is that of the person in whose memory the window was given)
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St Hilary stained glass window

St Hilary

St Edmond stained glass window

St Edmond and St Martin

St. Edmond - Feast Day 20th November


Emblem - arrows. Edmond was a King in East Anglia during the Danish invasion which began in 866 A.D. Three years later Edmond led his troops into battle at Thetford in Norfolk. The English were defeated and Edmond taken prisoner. A later story says that Edmond was tied to a tree and shot with arrows till his body was "like a thistle covered with prickles", then his head was struck off. His friends found his body being gaurded by a wolf and took it for burial in what is now Bury St. Edmonds

St. Martin - Feast Day 11th November


Martin was born in about 315 A.D. in what is now Hungary and brought up in Italy. His father was a Roman soldier and at 15 Martin was enrolled in the army. As a young officer at Amiens in France he saw a beggar almost naked in the cold; cutting his cloak in two with his sword he gave half to the poor man. At the age of 18 he was baptised and applied to leave the army, saying "I am Christ's soldier I am not allowed to fight.." At first he lived as a hermit and in 370 A.D. was made Bishop of Tours. He was a very famous missionary in France and founded many monasteries dying in 397 A.D. (Given in memory of Percival George Clappen, one time choirboy and later server who was killed in the First
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St. Alphege - Feast Day 19th April


Alphege was born in England in 954 A.D. and was a monk at Deerhurst in Gloucestershire, then at Bath. In 984 A.D. he was made Bishop of Winchester and, in 1006, Archbishop of Canterbury. At that time the Danes were invading England and in 1012 raided Canterbury, burnt the Cathedral and took Alphege, as a prisoner, to Greenwich. The Danes demanded a ransom but the Archbishop would not allow it to be paid. In a drunken rage the Danes pelted him with stones, bones and the horns of oxen. He was killed by a blow on the head with an axe.

St Augustine - Feast Day 26th May


In the year 596 A.D. Pope Gregory sent a band of 40 monks, led by Augustine, to convert the heathen English. They met King Ethelbert of Kent in the open air, because the King wanted to avoid being bewitched. Ethelbert was soon converted to Christianity, with many of his subjects. Augustine was consecrated Archbishop of the English and established his see at Canterbury, By the time of his death, in about 605 A.D. he had established bishoprics at London and Rochester. He was, however, unable to influence the Celtic Christians in Wales and the West to accept the authority of Rome.
(In memory of William Wordsworth Talfourd, a former Rector of Thundersley, Essex given by his sister)
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 St Alphege and St Augustine stained glass window

St Alphege and St Augustine

   
St Alban and St George stained glass window

St Alban and St George

St. Alban - Feast Day 22nd June


The first English Martyr. Alban lived in Verulamium (now the city of St. Alban's) and although a pagan, he gave shelter to a Christian priest who was fleeing from persecution. While the priest stayed hidden in the house, he converted Alban to Christianity. Alban changed clothes with the old man, who escaped, and Alban was captured instead, and sentenced to death. The place of execution was on the opposite bank of the river Colne. The crowd was too great for the narrow bridge and legend tells how Alban commanded the waters to part and all crossed over dry shod; and how when Alban was thirsty a fountain of water gushed forth at his feet.

St. George - Feast Day 23rd April.

Emblem - a rose usually pictured slaying a dragon, often carrying a white banner with a red cross. Patron Saint of England, soldiers and the Scout Movement.
St George probably did exist, but the story of the dragon is a myth. He was born of Christian parents at Cappadocia and become a soldier in the army of the Emperor Diocletian. During the persecution he was tortured and beheaded in Palestine about 303 A.D. During the Crusades, Richard 1st of England adopted the Red Cross of St. George and a later King adopted him as the National Saint. His cross forms the basis of the Union Flag.
(Given by members of the congregation)
The Ascension of our Lord
(Given by Mrs. Foster and her family in 1909 in memory of Edward Foster, a former worshipper at St. Alban's).
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St. Agatha - Feast Day 5th February


 Patron Saint of Bellfounders.
St. Agatha was a beautiful girl of a noble family in Sicily, about 250 A.D. Quintianus, Governor of Sicily, proposed to marry her but she had made a secret vow to dedicate herself to Christ. He tried persuasion but she remained firm and refused his offer; he subjected her to cruel tortures on three successive days, leaving her with no food or medical aid. She died of her injuries and friends took away her broken body and buried it.

St. Cecilia, or Cecily

, and her husband Valerian were probably early martyrs in Rome, and their story a religious romance. On her wedding night Cecilia told her husband she wished to remain a virgin and dedicate her life to Christ. She persuaded him to agree and he was baptised. Later, the couple were denounced as Christians and Valerian was beheaded. Cecilia was stifled to death in her own bathroom. A church was built over the house and in 817 A.D. the Pope ordered monks to sing and keep watch over her tomb.

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St Agnus stained glass window

St Agatha and At Celilia

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St Catherine stained glass window

St Catherine


St. Catherine - Feast Day 25th November


Emblem a spiked wheel. Patron Saint of jurists, philosophers, young women, students, teachers, millers and wagon makers.

St. Catherine was a popular saint in the Middle Ages but no definite facts are known. Legend says she was a young girl living in Alexandria in the time of Emperor Maxentius. She refused to deny her faith and marry the Emperor. Confronted with fifty pagan philosophers, she confuted all their arguments and even converted some of them. The Emperor ordered her to be bound to a wheel with sharp blades to cut her to pieces but the wheel broke when she was bound to it and the splinters scattered, killing some of her executioners and bystanders. Two hundred soldiers were converted before she was beheaded with a sword

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St. Faith - Feast Day 6th October


Emblems a sword and a grid-iron.
St. .Faith, according to a later story, was a young girl of Agen in Aquitaine who was martyred under the persecution ordered by the Emperor Diocletian about 287 A.D. She had been a Christian from childhood and refused to deny Christ and suffered death by burning with great heroism.

St. Margaret - Feast Day 20th July

Emblem a dragon. St. Margaret of Antioch was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages and one of Joan of Arc's "voices" but there is no positive evidence of her existence. A pagen priest at Antioch in Pisidia had a Christian daughter, Margaret. She rejected a proposal of marriage from Olybius, a Roman Prefect. He denounced her as a Christian and put her in prison. The story says that Satan, in the form of a dragon, tried to swallow her, but Margaret freed herself with the cross she held. Finally she was beheaded.

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St Faith and St Margaret stained glass window

St Faith and St Margaret


   
St Etheldreda stained glass window

St Etheldreda - North Porch

St. Etheldreda (Audrey) - Feast Day 23rd June


A Princess, widowed after three years marriage, rumor had it that the marriage was never consummated, Etheldreda having taken a vow of perpetual virginity. She married again for reasons of state. Her husband knew of her vow, but tired of living as brother and sister, and began to make advances on her, she refused him. He tried to bribe the local bishop, Saint Wilfrid of York, to release her from her vow. Wilfrid refused, and helped Etheldreda escape to a promontory called Colbert's Head. A seven day high tide, considered divine intervention, separated the two, the young man gave up. The marriage was annulled, and Etheldreda took the veil. She spent a year with her niece, Saint Ebbe the Elder. Founded the great abbey of Ely, where she lived an austere life.
She died of an enormous and unsightly tumour on her neck. She gratefully accepted this as Divine retribution for all the necklaces she had worn in her early years.
Born 640 AD. Died 679 AD
Note: Some years ago a lady visited the church, she asked to see the St. Etheldreda window as it was in memory of her Great Aunt. The resemblance of the face of the Saint and that of the visitor was amazing, she said "No one knew what the Saint looked like so they used her Aunts picture as a likeness".

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St. Agnes - Feast Day 21st January.


Emblem, a lamb
St. Agnes was only 12 or 13 when martyred in Rome about 303 A.D. Her parents were wealthy and did not know she had become a Christian. She refused to marry, but dedicated her life to Christ. Agnes resisted all threats: when sent naked into the street, she covered herself with her long hair; When she was to be burnt alive she prayed aloud to Jesus Christ and the fire went out. Finally she was stabbed in the throat.

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St Agnus stained glass window

The Great West WindowThe Great West  stained glassed window

THE GREAT WEST WINDOW


Designed and Executed by A. H. Nicholson
The subject which the design illustrates are the words of Our Lord "Ego Sum Vitis Vos Dalmites."
The tree rises up from behind a picture of the Nativity or rather of the Epiphany, with the figure of the Blessed Virgin and Child, the three Kings and Joseph. In the background will be seen the camels on which the Magi have travelled and the City of Bethlehem. The Star shines over the cot in which the young Child lies. On either side are censing Angels kneeling in worship.
The Tree on which the figures of the Apostles stand or kneel ia a conventional type suggestive of the vine, and each of the Apostles bears the special attributes and emblems and holds in his hand the portion of the Creed with which tradition has associated him. At the top of the window is the emblem of the Holy Spirit surrounded by rays.
Upper Tier Mattheus, Petrus, Andreas, Jacobus Major, Johannes and Simon
Second Tier Matthias, Phillip, Jacobus Frater Domini, Thomas, Bartolomeus and Thaddeus.
Note: I hope I have the translations correct but the original is very old and in Old English type script.
Note: The Great West Window is probably the most outstanding feature in the church it needs to be seen to appreciate its true beauty, no photograph will ever be able to do it justice
(Inserted in 1927 at a cost of £1000 given by an anonymous benefactor in memory of Eliza Barney and her sister).

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