St Giles – Great East WIndow

The Great East Window was the parishioners’ war memorial gift “in memory of the sons of West Bridgford who gave their lives unto the death in the Great War”.

It was designed and executed by Herbert W Bryans, Esq, London and dedicated on Sunday, 30th November 1919, when it was unveiled by Mrs Heymann.1

A contemporary leaflet2 described the window:

“This large window which contains Seven Lights as well as a considerable amount of Tracery, has been treated in the following manner. In the Centre Light which dominates the whole Window is a Figure of our Lord upon the Cross, which is lifted up on a green mound behind which is seen a vision of the Holy City. On either side are shewn Saint Mary, the blessed Mother – the Mater dolorosa, and our Patron, Saint George, who is turning towards the Saviour with his right hand uplifted in adoration, whilst in his left he holds a shield bearing the Red Cross. On the right and left in pairs are shewn the Four Fathers of the Church. On the extreme left is Saint Jerome, who is robed in red, as a Cardinal, for though during his life he refused all Ecclesiastical rank it has always been thought fit, for the sake of his dignity, to shew him as a Cardinal. He is reading a book and at his feet is a model of “The Church,” with rays of light emanating from its portal. Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, is next and he is robed as a Bishop with Mitre, Cope and Dalmatic, holding a Crosier and also his Triple Scourge, an attribute given to him to set forth the ardour with which he punished heresy and sin. On the right side in the Sixth Light, we have Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, in Africa, who was converted to Christianity by the preaching of Ambrose and was baptized in Milan Cathedral in the presence of Monica his mother, on which occasion our “Te Deum” was composed and sung. He also is robed as a Bishop and is shewn reading the Scriptures. His Cope is fastened with a Red Morse in the shape of a Burning Heart, which expresses the warmth of his piety and also his repentance. In the extreme right we have Saint Gregory, the first Pope who styled himself Servant of the Servants of God. He is shewn with the Papal Tiara wearing a Chasuble and holding a Triple Cross; his hand is uplifted in blessing whilst on his shoulder rests his peculiar attribute, the Dove. Below these figures of the Four Fathers, or Latin Doctors, are shewn the four Evangelists seated, with words in Latin, taken from the opening sentences of their writings, on scrolls above them In the centre three bases we have the Pelican in Piety, feeding its young from the blood of its breast, a symbol of Christ upon the Cross, and on either side is an Angel adoring, with words on scrolls above “Jesus Christus Noster Pelicanus.”

“The Tracery, which is intricate and forms a very important part of this window, has been most carefully treated. At the very top is an Angel holding a Shield bearing the Holy Name, and below this in the centre of the tracery is shewn the Lamb, the “Agnus Dei,” surrounded with rays and standing on a green mound from which emanate the four rivers of Paradise. On either side of this opening is an Angel adoring and swinging a censer. In other smaller pieces of tracery we have the symbols of the four Evangelists, namely:- the Man. of Angel, the Lion, the Ox, and the Eagle; and over and above these are numerous pieces of tracery still smaller which are treated in an ornamental manner.”

1. Nottingham Evening Post 29th November 1919
2. A Description of the East Window 1919

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