THE EAST WINDOW
The East Window is dedicated: In Memoriam James Christine Hart, Died 12th March 1876.
We don't have much information on him save that he died at Pau in the French Pyrennees a location known well to fans of Dornford Yates. It is such an unusual name that it seems likely that he is the same that the internet reveals was born in 1832; Christened in Dalmeny on 29th October of that year and the son of James Robert Hart and Christine Jamieson. He was a gentleman of Drumcrosshall, Linlithgowshire. In 1854 he purchased a commission in the 16th Lancers and later rose to the rank of Captain.
Linking the entire window is The Tree of Life perhaps? From its stem at the centre it extends sideways to L & R panels below and above the scenes there, and continues to the three small windows above. It seems to carry many different fruits – are these the fruits of the vine?
East Window – Left hand panel
“In those days Caesar Augustus decreed that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph went to Bethlehem the town of David, because he was a descendant of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them in the inn.”
This window, like many in the church, reflects the romantic ideals of the second half of the nineteenth century – perhaps more than a little influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Rich colours and detail crowd the picture. We see the infant Jesus, lightly swaddled, lying on surprisingly rich fabric. Is that gold embroidery we see on the reverse side? The fabric covers what looks more like a cot than a manger. Mary and Joseph gaze at Jesus while overhead an unidentified angel witnesses the scene. Above the angel is the ‘star of Bethlehem’.
The stable is a rather open-air affair for trees can be seen behind the back wall and there does not appear to be a roof. On the floor the cobbles, front centre, are covered not only by straw but ears of wheat - a strangely extravagant way of bedding livestock. Pre-Raphaelites loved symbolism and the ears of wheat symbolise the body of Christ. A stylised clump of grass in the left foreground emphasises the modest location for the nativity.
Underneath the scene is stated “I have redeemed thee” which is taken from Isaiah 43 - 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you' and this promise applies to each and every one of us.
East Window – centre panel:
At the foot of the cross are two figures - Mary Magdalene and St. John possibly?
On the cross is the notice - INRI = Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum
John 19:19: And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was Jesus Of Nazareth The King Of The Jews.
Is there significance in the Sun and Moon either side of Christ?
is that a star above the Cross?
East Window – Right Panel
The Last Supper:
Luke 22: 19-20: And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
You can see a loaf in Jesus' hand. On the table is the cup - the fabled Holy Grail sought for by the Arthurian knights of legendary stories.
In the foreground is a water ewer and bowl – from feet washing possibly?