Bonnybridge Parish Church Windows

Bonnybridge James


East Side (north to south)

(1)  A bold and plain illustration of St James is shown standing, ready to walk to the right.  He carries a staff and has a bag slung over his shoulder and a hat on his back.  Above him is a cockle shell and below his name in capitals.  The basal dedication reads “To the Glory of God and in memory of the Rev. B.D. Sinclair and/ his Mother and to commemorate the New Church of/ Bonnybridge. St. Helens constituted on July 31ST 1991.”

Bonnybridge Paul

(2) A tall lancet window, predominantly blue.  It shows the figure of St Paul – steadfast courage and spirit of self sacrifice.  His left hand rests on the hilt of a sword, the symbol of his martyrdom, with a parchment, the bible, grasped in his right hand – the gospel.  Behind and at a higher level is a representation of the crucifixion.  There is an attendant angel with a chalice.  The True Vine is entwined up the cross.  A little ship is seen in the background showing the spread of the gospel.  At the base is shown the arrival of St Columba in Scotland.  Iona Cathedral in a thistle.  At the apex is the crown of life and a dove in downward flight.  “I have finished my course/ I have kept the Faith”.  “— —- —- —- to God for the life — —/  —- —- JAMES STEEL MA — minister/ of the church and Parish of Bonnybridge/ — —- his ministry — —/ — — died 9th April — —“.  To the right of this is a depiction of Bonnybridge Church.  Dedicated to the first minister of the church, Rev. James Steel.

Designed and produced by the Abbey Studio, Edinburgh.  1950. 

Bonnybridge (3) Joshua

(3) A man in a bronze helmet stands under a canopy with another seated on a folding stool wearing a banded head scarf.  In front of them is a large crowd with city wall behind.  On either side, extending into the geometric border are the words “Wah’s/ help” and “Jehovah/ help”.  There are large geometric panels above and below.  “Take good heed therefore unto yourselves that ye love the Lord your God”  “To the memory of/ George Ure D.L./ of Wheatlands/ Died 3rd January 1910, aged 89 years”

The text is from the book of Joshua Chapter 23 verse 11 and points to the subject as Joshua’s farewell address to the Israelites.  As an old man he gives his last exhortation, while the elders, warriors and people are gathered before him.  Seated beside him is Eleazer, the Priest; the small tinkling bells and pomegranates can be seen on the borders of his robes.  Joshua reminds Israel of their victory and conquest of Canaan, his sword by his side, and he also recalls all that God has done for them – hence “Jehovah’s Help”.  Symbolically the green and pleasant land of Canaan is set above the scene, the River Jordan and the Walls of Jericho being also depicted.  Above the canopy is the Scroll of the Law, the words of the Covenant and the Statute made in Schechem, while the decorative leaves around the window are reminiscent of the great oak under which Joshua set the stone of commemoration.  In the apex the reward of the faithful warrior is represented in the Crown. Completed 1911.

Bonnybridge (4) Virtue

(4) Another tall lancet with a central figured scene and geometric panels above and below.  A rich canopy is occupied by a woman wearing a head scarf, seated with one hand on a book and the other raised in supplication.  A woman sits to her right holding a distaff; and a second stands opposite her.  “She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness”.  “In memoriam/ Janet Reid Ure/ Wife of George Ure. Wheatlands/ Died 15th October 1890 aged 70”.  At the bottom, partly hidden by a wooden shelf it says “her children arise up and call her blessed”.

The text is from the book of Proverbs Chapter 3 Verse 26, and the quotation at the base is from Verse 28.  The Virtuous Woman, the good wife and mother, is seen surrounded by her children.  She instructs them, reading from the Good Book “A Woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”  All are clothed in rich silk garments, the work of her hands, while her tapestries and hangings are seen behind her.  Outside is one of the merchant ships, to which she is likened in bringing her food from afar.  Her children work at spindle and loom, and the whole picture is one of a happy home in which the key person is the mother.  In the upper window the heart, with rays emanating, symbolises love and service, the inspiration and strength of every home.

The upper and lower portions are filled with richly decorated graisaille work and a vine leaf border.   In a quatrefoil in the centre of the upper part is a heart symbolising charity, zeal and devotion.

Window by Dickson, Walker and Co.  1895.

Bonnybridge (5) Storm

(5) Jesus stands in the centre with his right arm raised to still the waves roaring below.  Three men around him.  “Then he arose and rebuked the wind and the sea”.  “Anne Wells Brown/ Wife of James Smith/ Died 5th July 1891”.  “IHS” above.

The Stilling of the Storm – St Matthew Chapter 8 Verse 26.  The central figure of this window is that of Jesus as he stands up in the boat and commands the waves to be still.  His calm is clearly contrasted with the terror of the disciples; the fury of the storm is evident as the sea crashes into the boat; while the sails are extended high in the gale.  The theme continues that of window (6).

The upper and lower portions of the window are treated on ornament in graisaille and borders with quatrefoils at the top.

Gifted by Mr W.  Macadam Smith.

Designed and executed by Messrs Dickson and Walker, Frederic Street, Edinburgh.  Unveiled 1894.

Bonnybridge (6) Noah

(6) Noah stands in front of a rocky altar from which rise tall flames.  There are three men and women behind and two in front.  “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD”.  A roundel at the top shows Noah’s ark.  The geometric panel below reads “James Smith/ Died 11th April 1886”

The theme – Noah’s Thanksgiving after the Flood – is from genesis Chapter 8 Verse 20.  Noah’s gratitude on his safe return to dry land is expressed by his sacrifice of his burnt offering at an altar, while his wife and family are gathered round him.  Symbolically the ark is also pictured, resting on the mountains of Ararat.  Above the canopy the message of the window is summarised by the ark in full view, riding serenely and triumphantly over the flood.  The theme is particularly appropriate because James Smith was shipwrecked in the Atlantic and spent three days afloat in a basket before being rescued.

The upper and lower portions of the window are treated on ornament in graisaille and borders with quatrefoils at the top.

Gifted by Mr W.  Macadam Smith.

Designed and executed by Messrs Dickson and Walker, Frederic Street, Edinburgh.  Unveiled 1894.

North Gable

Two two-lancet windows:

When the church opened in 1877 the two windows in the north gable held simple geometric stained glass designs the gift of James Smith, Glasgow, and George Ure, Wheatlands.  These, with the rose window, the four-light stained window in the south or front gable, which is still there, and the cathedral tinted glass in all the others, admitted to the church a softened mellow light.   The first two of these were subsequently replaced.

Bonnybridge (7) Magdalene

(7) Three women see a shining angel standing in front of a cave.  “he is not here/ for he is risen as he said”.  Above are the letters alpha and omega.  The central quatrefoil contains a book – the Bible.  The lower panels have white lilies and roses in their centres.  “To the Glory of GOD. and/ in loving memory of our/ mother harriet Dudley Ure/ died 3rd January 1889”.

A Resurrection theme showing three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Salome at the sepulchre on Easter morning.  They carry spices and ointments to pay their last respects to the body of the crucified Lord.  The look of surprise on their faces can be seen, as the Angel announces the wonderful news of the resurrection – St Matthew Chapter 26 Verse 6.  On the hill of Calvary in the background, the three crosses are a reminder of that travail and sorrow over which the victory is won.  Above, within the quatrefoil, is the gospel book.  High on each light, Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet denote God’s eternity and infinitude.  Below on either side of the mullion are two symbolic flowers, the wild rose, with its harsh thorns and silken petal speaks both of sorrow and sunshine, pain and joy.  The Easter lily has its own message of resurrection – its bulb is buried in the earth but out of it arise foliage and new bulbs.

Dickson and Walker, South Frederick Street, Edinburgh, 1896.

Bonnybridge (8) Hannah

(8) A woman brings her young son to stand before an old seated philosopher in a temple.  “my heart rejoiceth/ in the LORD”.  “To the Glory of GOD. and/ in loving memory of our/ mother harriet Dudley Ure/ died 3rd January 1889”.  There is an anchor and cross with the crown in the upper lights, the symbols of the Christian victory and hope of salvation.  Within the quatrefoil is the book of the law with the ten numbers of the Decalogue.  At the base are the letters of the Holy name of Jesus and the monogram of Christ – “ihs” and “xdc” (chi rho with sigma added denoting Saviour).

The words of Hannah in 1st Samuel Chapter 2 Verse 1 give the key to the subject – the Dedication of the Boy Samuel.  Hannah, overjoyed at the gift of a son, decides to dedicate him to the service of God.  Eli is seen seated in the Temple reading the sacred scriptures as Hannah, with her son, approaches.  The Sanctuary lamp shines overhead. 

Dickson and Walker, South Frederick Street, Edinburgh, 1896.

Bonnybridge (9) Rose

(9) Seven-petalled rose window with geometric designs, the gift of Stephen Wellstood for the opening of the church in 1877.

G. B. Bailey (2019)