The year 2019 has been a very special year for St Mary’s; it marked 150 years of ministry in Walkley. It is a ministry that has been based in a very beautiful parish church building. This is a place where many have prayed and been touched by the grace of God, a place from which we are sent out, Sunday by Sunday, into our every day lives to ‘love and serve the Lord’. A series of events are planned, for more details see our events page here.
Over the years many people have been inspired by the play of light in our wonderful Victorian east window and the PCC decided we needed an inspirational west window to help light us up as we go out into a world that is sometimes difficult and despairing. This is a resurrection window reminding us that there is nothing in a dark world that cannot be redeemed and nowhere that Christ cannot go. The new window has added something of beauty from the 21st century to remind all who see it that the Christian faith is not just about the past, but is for the future too. The PCC commissioned stained glass artist, Mark Angus, to undertake this project for us and it has also included the seven small windows underneath the balcony area at the back of church.
The new windows follow the age-old tradition of telling key biblical stories through the medium of the windows. The story being told in the main window is from the gospel of John (Jn 20.11-17), one of the most beautiful passages in the bible. In the design Mark Angus has created an upwards sweep starting at the darkest bottom left-hand corner with Jesus carrying the cross past the women of Jerusalem, the tomb is in the middle and then the risen Jesus and Mary a little higher up where it is lighter so that the eye is taken in an upward curve towards the top lighter tracery depicting God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and which breaks everything open in a vibrant blaze of light, hope and new life beyond the Ascension.
The main west window and upper light
Impression of the narthex windows
The small windows in the narthex pick key moments in the Gospels where Jesus is with Mary and other women. Using the same theme of Jesus' encounter with women in the gospels and complimenting the main west window, the 7 windows in the narthex follow on from each other. They depict the nativity; the presentation of Christ in the Temple; The Wedding at Cana of Galilee (a miracle of water into wine); the healing of Jarius' daughter; Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus (of Mary and Martha - teaching); Mary the mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross and The pieta - Mary with the body of Jesus.
To do this we raised nearly £40,000 which is not a lot more than it would cost to replace the old west window which is at risk due to serious deterioration. The new window was dedication on the 8th September 2020 by the Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Pete Wilcox, with the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Mayor and other Civic guests in attendence.
A book on the stained glass windows at St Marys is being produced and will shortly be available.