Posted by: Glassartist | November 21, 2012

St Paul Stained Glass Window

The new stained glass window at St Paul’s Catholic Church
For the dedication Mass for the newly installed windows at St Paul’s Church in Paulsgrove, UK in May 2012 the parish priest Father Tobin wrote the following words in celebration of Saint Paul’s life:

“Paul is undoubtedly one of the most important figures in the history of the Western world. Paul’s life was remarkable and did without doubt change the course of Christianity. He made an impact as an apostle, as theologian, and as letter-writer. Paul the apostle had expanded the church far and wide, flinging open the doors to Gentiles, strenuously fighting for his conviction that the gospel was for all people and that no barriers should be put in the way of Gentiles. Paul the theologian was the first to work through many of the intriguing questions that Jesus’s life, death and resurrection had brought up. And Paul the letter-writer gave us not only some of the profoundest pieces of early Christian theological reflection, but also some of the finest, most poignant writing in history.”

The window brings to life scenes from the most influential events from the life of St Paul, starting with his early life (holding the cloaks of his friends whilst they throw stones at a group of early Christians).

Paul’s conversion (falling from his horse on the road to Damascus) figures in the lower part of the left hand panel.

The central panel includes his preaching to a gathering in a Roman forum, and surrounded by onlookers including Roman soldiers. Some are listening and some turning away, other people are walking towards the place to hear his words.

The right hand panel shows him imprisoned and also the shipwreck in Malta. There is also a reference to the story of him visiting what is now known as ‘Paul’s Grove’, on Portsdown Hill, Hampshire.

The local legend tells of him resting amongst a small grove of trees nearby to the great Roman fort at Portchester whilst stopping at British shores on his travels. St Paul is shown imprisoned as an older man, although he was imprisoned and persecuted for his beliefs many times throughout his life. He often referred to himself as ‘a prisoner of the Lord’. Beneath the prison bars is an extract from the letter to the Ephesians.

The three scenes are linked by references of his journeys by land (above) and by sea (below) and show ‘safe signs’ to mark safe houses and shelters for the early Christians. The journey begins and ends in Antioch, listing the most important places that he visited in his life.

We have used our artistic expression to produce contemporary windows for chapels and churches of many different denominations and non-traditional places of worship. We feel that it is a real privilege to work with church communities and church leaders in helping them to fulfil their vision for a new window in a sacred space and the window gallery includes images from many of our recent stained glass commissions.

Click here for more information on the stained glass studio and here for commissioning and for pictures showing the making of the new window from the initial design stage through to final fitting.

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