Stained Glass

The Cecil Memorial Window

This window was commissioned by the Fourth Marquess of Salisbury in 1920, in memory of his three nephews who had been killed in the World War One 1914-18.

They were the sons of Lord William Cecil, Rector of Hatfield from 1888 to 1916-then Bishop of Exeter until his death in 1936. He was present at the morning service on 1st August 1920 when the window, designed by Christopher Whall, was unveiled.

Information about the symbolic nature of the window was given in the Parish Magazine of September 1920, details provided were;

The three Angel figures symbolise; Trial and Sacrifice Victory and Triumph Duty, The Guardian Angel.

Above the Angels; the Seraphim in red symbolises Divine Love, the Cherubim in blue symbolises Divine Wisdom. Set in the apex at the top of the window is the union of the two lower figures symbolising the task for Humanity (to be guided and helped by divine wisdom and love) the wings of this figure being purple, the combination of red with blue.

The three figures are grouped around a central Sun (not visible in this photo) the Sun of Righteousness. This is symbolic of the better world to come. The tongues of fire surrounding the top half of the window are symbolic of guidance and help through the Holy Spirit.

The artist, Whall (1849-1924), was the leading stained-glass artist of the time. Similar motifs were used by him in the window he designed for the SW transept of Canterbury Cathedral.

 

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The three angels represent – left to right

Trial and Sacrifice; holding a crown of thorns, against a background of the Briars of this Life. Above left is the Apple Tree, symbol of the Fall. Above right an Olive Tree symbol of the final Peace. Through the thorns, bottom right, is seen the Serpent, the Watching Enemy.

Victory and Triumph; the Angel of the Resurrection is standing by the Tomb and holding the stone which has been rolled away, and the Torch – this is symbolic of the risen life and the Light which is never to fail. Behind is the Sunrise of the first Easter Day.

The Guardian Angel; dressed as for administering Baptism. He holds a new born infant and points out the Narrow Way of Christian Life and Duty. Above the Briars (which run through all of the three windows) have burst into blossom.

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