In late May of 1870 the first five stained glass windows for the Chancel of Christ in Acland Street St Kilda were erected by the Ferguson & Urie Stained Glass company. These single light lancet headed windows represent the Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism, Crucifixion & Burial and Resurrection. In the following four years the Ascension, Rising of Lazarus, Jairu’s Daughter, Good Shepherd and I.H.S. windows were erected.
The Argus, Melbourne, Saturday 4th June 1870, page 5.
“We have much pleasure in observing that the illuminated windows manufactured by Messrs. Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, of this city, have been completed, and are now placed in the chancel of Christ Church, St. Kilda. They are five in number, representing the annunciation, birth, baptism, death, and resurrection of our Lord, and the Lamb of God. They add very greatly to the beauty of the edifice, and are an excellent sample of colonial art. These windows were obtained in response to an offer made by a member of the congregation to give the central window, provided the other four were subscribed for by the parishioners. This most desirable condition was fulfilled by a concert at the town-hall, Prahran, last September, at which several lady and gentleman amateurs performed, together with a donation of £20 given by Mr. E. Courtney towards the object to the lady who got up the concert.”
Photos taken: 11th February 2011.
The article from 1870 only mentions the first five windows installed in the chancel of the church but there are a total of ten Ferguson and Urie windows in the church installed at different times in history.
1. Annunciation (Restored by Alan Sumner).
This small window must have had extensive damage as it now appears completely in the Alan Sumner style of painting!
3. Baptism (Restored by Alan Sumner).
4. Crucifixion and Burial
5. Resurrection (Restored by Bruce Hutton from Almond Glass).
6. Ascension (Restored by Alan Sumner).
7. The Rising of Lazarus from the Dead.
The lower panel has the finely painted roundel depicting the storm and shipwreck of the ‘British Admiral’ with the inscription:
“In memory of Miles Nicholson died 27th April 1974 Aged 28. William Dalzell Nicholson drowned in the wreck of the British Admiral 23rd May 1874 Aged 25″. Interestingly there is also a memorial to Nicholson on King Island.
The morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, QLD, Friday 2nd December 1887, page 6.
“King Island has been the scene of a terrible number of ship wrecks and the remains of these are to be seen all round the coast. On the southern side stands a marble monument erected by the late Hon. William Nicholson tot he memory of his son who was lost with 78 others in the “British Admiral” which foundered there in 1874. There is much of interest derived from the trip of the naturalists and there is no doubt that they have made most of the opportunity offered to them. November 24, 1887”.
The marble monument on King Island reads:
“Head stone erected to the memory of Wm. Dalzell Nicholson who with ‘Tilly’ Dale & many others perished in the vicinity in the wreck of the ‘British Admiral” 23rd May 1874″.
This window has its own fascinating and sad story and I have written an individual article about it. See: post: 27-04-1874: All Saints Church, St Kilda, Victoria.
8. Jairus’s daughter restored to life. (Restored by Bruce Hutton from Almond Glass).
This window is the Constance Emily Fanning memorial window and is claimed to be the second window to be installed in the church. It was badly damaged in 1995 and has been restored by Bruce Hutton of Almond Glass. There is the biblical reference on the window “‘S. Mark C.5. V.47” which I believe is an error as there is no Verse 47 in chapter 5 of St Mark.What I believe it should refer to is Mark c5-v41 which in the King James Bible reads; “And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee. arise”.
The scroll and text to the lower edge of the window reads:
“Blessed are the Dead which die in the Lord” and “In Memory of Constance Emily Fanning. Died 28th May 1874.”
9. I am the Good Shepherd.
The plaque at the base reads: “In memory of John Jennings Smith died 7th August at Adelaide South Australia 1871 in his 21st year”.
John Jennings Smith drowned in the river whilst on a boating expedition with friends. His first, last, and fatal mistake was that he could not swim!
“SMITH.- On the 7th August, in his 21st year, John Jennings Smith, eldest son of Francis Grey Smith, of the Bank of South Australia, and grandson of the late Rev. John Jennings Smith, M.A., first Incumbent of St. Paul’s, Paterson, New South Wales.”
10. The monogram “I.H.S” set into a trefoil shaped window.
This window is to the memory of the Rev. John Stanley Lowe who was the Vicar of Christ Church for a 36 year period between 1868 and 1904 and also Chaplain General to the Victorian Forces.