St Giles – Lawson Memorial Window

The text in the two-light window declares that the window was “given by Peter Lawson to the glory of God and in memory of his mother 1891-1968  and sister Jean 1830-2000”.

Peter Lawson served on the PCC of St Giles’ for around 40 years, including time as churchwarden. He was the driving force behind several building projects, including the new parish hall and the rectory. He became a Reader and took services not only at St Giles’ but also elsewhere in the Deanery. In the wider community, he served on Rushcliffe Borough Council and was Mayor of Rushcliffe in 1990/91. He was honoured by the PCC in 2007 when he was created Churchwarden Emeritus.

The window was installed in 2001.

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This window has a similar format to the Window for the 1998 Centenary. It was also designed by local artist and member of St Giles’ congregation, Jennifer Bell, and executed with M E Stained Glass of Newark. She wrote about the window:1

“The format for the 1998 window is echoed in the visual structure of the new window: strong colour at the top – deep blue and turquoise in the former, deep red, amber and yellow in the latter – the natural colours of both middle sections show landscape, trees, and the river flowing from the far distance, and at the bottom of both windows the water sweeps into the foreground.

“Peter Lawson wanted this new window to be in memory of his mother and sister, and approved a design based on the theme of restoration and new life for those who grieve, and the promise of eternal life for those who believe, using imagery mostly from Isaiah and the book of Revelation. Scriptures (taken from the New International Version of the Bible) are again written into the painting.

“In this window, the river is the River of the water of life, flowing from the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. It is a projection of holiness into the world, a provision of grace. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4. As in the 1998 window, it winds through the landscape. Here, the Lamb, Christ, stands at the top of the waterfall, traces of his blood mixing with the water. Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13. the blood of Jesus … purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Rev 7:17.

“The animals, (us), the powerful and the vulnerable, are standing in the water and drinking from it, washed with the blood of the lamb, and receiving the grace to live together. The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat … for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord Isaiah 11:6. They are entwined in the vine, again a symbol of Christ. I am the true vine … Remain in me, and I will remain in you. John 15:1,4. A root will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him. Isaiah 11:1.

“Central to the window is Christ, the link between the Old Testament prophecy and hope, New Testament sacrifice and redemption, and Revelation’s ultimate homecoming. It is on Christ, wounded and bleeding into the water, that the Spirit of God rests. This is the one who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ. For there are three that testify – the Spirit, the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement. 1 John 6:6. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted … to comfort all who mourn, and provide fore those who grieve … They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. Isaiah 71:1-4 The trees by the river are these oaks, given new life through the Spirit to restore their lives. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people. Isaiah 52:9

“The design of the trees frames the view of the Holy City, the focus for Christ, and, should we choose to follow him, then ours as well. Written (very subtly) on the wall of the city are the verses Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away Rev 2:1,3,4″

References
1. Jennifer Bell St Giles’ Church, the new stained glass windows

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