Grangemouth Kerse Church Windows

(SMR 884)

(1) A legacy left by Mrs J Paton to be used to beautify the church was employed in the provision of four stained glass windows in the chancel which were dedicated in January 1951.  They are quatrefoil in shape and depict the four Evangelists; from left to right these are Matthew the man, Mark the Lion, Luke the ox and John the eagle.  These are derived from the four living creatures in the Book of Ezekiel.

Designer : William Wilson.

Kerse Church (2)

(2) A four-light window at the rear of the church was dedicated in 1953.  It contains 190 square feet of glass and cost £1,800, the money coming from a legacy by Mrs Paton of Abbotsgrange Rd.

In each light is a large standing figure – Moses holding the Table of Law; Christ the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb in his arms; the Risen Christ; and St Columba.  Above and below each is a scriptural symbol and surmounting the window is a tracery.

(a) Moses is dressed in blue and red robes and holds a large scroll – the lower end resting in his right hand.  Small lettering on the scroll spells out the first of the commandments: “YOU SHALL HAVE/ NO OTHER/ GODS BE/ FORE ME/ NOT TAKE THE/ NAME/ OF THE LORD/ YOUR GOD IN VAIN/ OBSERVE THE/ SABBATH DAY/ TO KEEP IT HOLY/ HONOUR YOUR/ FATHER AND/ YOUR MOTHER/ YOU SHALL/ NOT KILL/ NEITHER SHALL/ YOU COMMIT/ ADULTERY/ NEITHER SHALL”.  His name is placed to either side of his feet and above him is a small scene showing Adam and Eve wearing leaves around their loins, with a red angel behind them.

Below Moses is a panel containing four standing bearded figures named as ISIAH, EZEKIEL, MICAH and HOSEA.  They each hold a  ribbon banner in their hands with extracts from each of their biblical texts: “BEHOLD A VIRGIN SHALL CONCEIVE & BEAR A SON/      A NEW HEART  ALSO WILL I GIVE YOU/   TO DO JUSTICE TO LOVE MERCY TO LOVE   TO WALK   IN THY GOD/    DESIRED MERCY NOT SACRIFICE”.

(b) A bearded Christ in white robes holds a crook in his right hand with a lamb held in the crook of his left arm.  His identity is confirmed by a small red shield containing the letters “IHS”.  Beside his bare feet are the words “I AM/ THE/ GOOD/ SHEPHERD”.  The panel below shows Mary seated and holding the infant Christ on her lap.  Behind her is a thatched stable containing an ox and an ass.  Three shepherds carrying crooks and one with a sheep over his shoulder look on beneath a starred night sky.  The upper vignette shows a pelican feeding blood to her young in the nest.

(c) Christ stands looking to his right with his right hand raised  with two fingers extended in blessing and his other hand holding a blue staff bearing  a flag of St George and having a cross finial.  He wears a white robe with the hood pulled over his black bearded face, with a yellow toga over the robe.  Beside his feet are the words “I AM THE LIFE/ AND/ RESURRECTION”.  Above him the Lamb in the vignette also supports a flag of St George on a similar pole.  The scene at the bottom of this light shows Mary in blue robes sitting in the centre surrounded by people all looking towards her.  Above her head is a plummeting dove.

(d) St Columba holds a shepherd’s crook.  He is bald on the top and bare-footed, but wears a rich purple cloak over a pale blue robe.  In the background are a Celtic Cross and a church building beside a river.  The vignette above him shows a man digging with a spade and a woman with a long-handled brush in one hand and a basket in the other.  Below St Columba the scene depicts a radiant white Jesus holding a golden chalice in his left hand with the words “DO THIS IN/ REMEMBRANCE/ OF ME” below him.  To either side he is surrounded by people – the three on the left appear to be from Africa and include a black man; the three on the right are from the Far East and India.

Along the bottom, spread across the four lights, is the sentence: “I AM COME THAT/ THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE/ AND THAT THEY MIGHT/ HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY”.

The rich muted colours contain a predominance of blue in the design, lending dignity to the artist’s work which almost imperceptibly suffuses the church with an enhancing slightly tinted light.

Designed by William Wilson.

G.B. Bailey (2019)