The East Window
The dominant feature of All Saints' is the great East Window. It is by C.E. Kempe and his wheatsheaf mark can be seen in the lower left corner.
It was donated to the church in memory of George Pearson of Brickendonbury, the younger brother of Lord Cowdray, who was a highly successful businessman. The Pearson Cross, in the centre of the churchyard was erected in his memory.
The window is one of the largest and finest of the 7000 windows or so made by Kempe's firm. Its motif is the verse 'I am the vine, you are the branches' (John 15, verse 5). The branches of the vine and its leaves weave in and out of the seven lights, blending with the colour of the stone mullions and tracery, giving a powerful sense of unity to the whole design.
In the centre is the vine with Christ in Glory reigning from the cross above it. He has a royal red loin cloth and there is a golden sunburst behind him. The idea of sacrifice is indicated by the pelican in her piety nesting at the top of the cross. At the foot is St John the Evangelist with eagle and bible. Unfortunately this is partially obscured by the central turret of the later (1913) Reredos.
Arrayed round this centre are depictions of many of the greatest figures in Christian life - including a number with a special place in the growth of Christianity in this country. They are grouped accordingly - for example St Alban, the first English Martyr, shares a panel with St Stephen, the first Christian Martyr.
The saints depicted in the main section (listed in order, top left to bottom right) are:
(Top Row): St Laurence (with gridrion); St James (with pilgrim's staff); St Mary the Virgin ; (Christ in Glory); St John (?the Apostle?); St Mark (with winged lion, quill and bible. The text Pax Tibi Marce can be translated as "Peace be unto you, Mark my Evangelist"); St Stephen (with palm, bag of stones and book);
(2nd Row): St John the Baptist (with camel skin); St Andrew (with Saltire Cross); St Peter (with Keys and text "I will give you the keys..." Matt 16.19); (Christ in Glory); St Paul (with sword); St Mary Magdalene (with ointment jar); St Alban (with palm, coat of arms and sword);
(3rd Row): St Cecilia (with palm and organ); St Theodore of Tarsus/Canterbury (with cross) ; St Augustine of Hippo (with flaming heart); (vine); St Ambrose (with book and crozier) ; St George (in armour with dead dragon); St Margaret (Reading a book with dragon underfoot) ;
(Bottom Row): St Catherine (with palm and wheel); King Ethelbert (with orb and sceptre); St Anselm (with his book Cur Deus Homo? - Why the God-Man? and cross); (St John the Evangelist); St Augustine of Canterbury (with banner of the Crucifixion); St Boniface (No obvious symbol); St Matthew (with quill and Bible);
Above the main section are angels holding shields depicting the emblems of Christ's passion: 30 pieces of Silver, the Scourge, the Pillar and Cord, a Reed Sceptre, the Crown of Thorns, the Nails, the Robe and Dice, the Sponge, the Lance, the Ladder, the Winding Sheet.
On the two sides of these angels are Old Testament characters: Moses, Zechariah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Job, Daniel, Ezekiel, Hosea, Solomon, David (with harp) and Jacob.
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