St. Mary's Church, Bedfont - Stained Glass

In our church guide, Francis Clive-Ross wrote:

In the north wall [of the chancel] is another 12th-century window of one round-header light, containing some ancient glass, quarries with flower design, of circa 1461 to 1483, probably from the east window. All other glass in the church is modern.

He later mentions the other stained-glass windows in the context of their being memorials. This page describes them in more detail, with photographs, and the origins of the texts when they are taken from the Bible or Prayer Book.

The East Window

The East Window is behind the altar in the Chancel. The theme of this window is “Faith, Hope, and Charity”, represented by female saints (denoted as such by their haloes).
Photo: East Window stained glass

The memorial dedication at the bottom of the window reads: To the glory of GOD and in memory of Francis Sherborn and Martha his Wife this window was erected AD 1866.

The Chancel Sanctuary Window

This window is to the right (south) of the Chancel sanctuary, and so is probably not seen by many visitors or worshippers.
Photo: Chancel Sanctuary Window stained glass

The image in the top part of the frieze is the traditional “Lamb and Flag”, although the colour of the cross on the banner is gold, rather than the red of the St. George's cross. The text between the panes of the frieze is Now is Christ risen from the dead & become the firstfruits of them that slept. [1 Corinthians 15.20] The memorial text at the bottom of the window is In memory of Mary Boult died September 19 1864

The World War One Memorial Windows

This pair of windows are in the south wall of the Chancel, between the arch and the door.

Photo: Pickering Memorial Window stained glass Photo: Gibbs Memorial Window stained glass

The left-hand window is sometimes known as the ‘Easter Window’. It has two panes, which show the Risen Christ outside the empty tomb, accompanied by an angel (or perhaps arch-angel) with wings and a halo. Below them are two seated, and presumably sleeping, Roman soldiers. The text below the window is To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Lieut Robert Pickering RFA who fell at Cambrai 30 Nov 1917 and I look for the resurrection of the dead [from the Nicene Creed]. ‘RFA’ stands for ‘Royal Field Artillery’. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Lieutenant Pickering was assigned to ‘N’ Anti Aircraft Battery.

The right-hand window has a single pane. It shows a soldier, as indicated by the sword and the shield with the St. George's cross on it. He is being presented with a crown by a figure who presumably represents Christ. The text below the window is To the Glory of God and in most dear memory of William John Gibbs of Bedfont who fell in the Yeomanry advance at Gallipoli Aug 21st 1915 aged 19. and And I will give you a Crown of Life. [Revelation 2.10b]. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Private Gibbs served with the City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), and they record his date of death as 23rd August.

The Samaritan Window

The window near the front of the nave illustrates the Parable of the Good Samaritan, as told in Luke 10.29-37.

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Photo: Samaritan Window stained glass

The left panel shows the stricken traveller with, presumably, both the priest and the levite in the background. The centre panel shows the rather well-dressed Samaritan offering him aid. The right panel shows the pair approaching the inn, which looks remarkably European with its pitched roof and chimney stack.

The text underneath the three panels reads: To the glory of God and in memory of Henry Engleheart Clerk in holy orders 12 May 1885 Rev'd Engleheart was not a Vicar of Bedfont. He was a son of renowned miniature portrait painter George Engleheart (1750–1829), who had lived in Bedfont at some points to 1817.

The West Window

Photo: West Window stained glass

The window above the West Door shows various worthy activities that either the Church, or its members, should be performing (although some are less obvious than others). Clockwise from the top these are:

The female figure at the centre is playing a very small organ, with only 6 pipes. The halo suggests that she is a saint - quite probably Saint Cecilia. Her connection with the other five images is not obvious.

History and Description

For an illustrated history of the church, click here.


For an illustrated description of the church's monuments, click here (external site).

Copyright 2016, 2017 The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Saint Mary the Virgin, Bedfont.

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