St Mary’s Anglican Church in Sunbury was designed by architect Leonard Terry and tenders were advertised for its construction in July 1866. The Church contains many excellent examples of stained glass by Ferguson & Urie. The triple light east window is a memorial to the infant Agnes Petrea Josephine Clarke circa 1879.
Photos taken 6th February 2011.
In 1880 the chancel was added to St Mary’s and it’s at this time that the Clarke memorial window was most likely installed. The window is a memorial to Agnes Petrea Josephine Clarke, the infant daughter of Sir William John Clarke and Janet Marion Snodgrass. She was born at the family home, “Rupertswood” mansion in Sunbury on the 3rd of September 1877 but died on the 20th of March 1879 and was buried in the family grave at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
The left lancet of the window depicts St Agnes with the text below: “IN MEMORIAM”wholly
Above the centre lancet is the dove within trefoil tracery. The central scene in the centre light is Christ depicted from Luke 18-16; “Suffer little children to come unto me”. Below that is a cherubic angel, presumably to depict the young Agnus Clarke and it was most likely painted by Ferguson & Urie’s senior stained glass artists David Relph Drape. The bottom edge of the window has the infant’s name: “AGNES PETREA JOSEPHINE CLARKE”.
The right lancet depicts St Mary with the text below “OBIIT MDCCCLXXIX” (1879).
“CLARKE.- On the 3rd inst, at Rupertswood, Sunbury, the wife of W. J. Clarke of a daughter.”
“CLARKE.- On the 20th inst, at Rupertswood, Sunbury, Agnes Petrea Josephine, beloved youngest daughter of William John and Janet Marion Clarke, aged 18 months”.
“… The building of St Mary’s was begun in August 1866 according to the plans of Leonard Terry, which provided for a blue-stone gothic church. Only the nave was built at this stage for the cost of £1013/10/1. The building was opened for public worship on 24 November 1867, by Archdeacon McCartney (later Dean of Melbourne). A year later (1868) the church bell was erected at the cost of £22/10/-. The chancel and vestry were added in 1880…”.
“… The stained glass windows behind the altar are believed to have been installed in 1880, when the chancel was added. They are dedicated to Agnes Clarke, younger daughter of Sir William and Lady Janet Clarke, named after Lady Janet’s mother Agnes Snodgrass. The left pane depicts St Agnes, who herself died young at the age of twelve and is the patron saint of girls. The right pane depicts Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus, while the centre panel depicts Jesus welcoming little children…”.
The other small windows in the nave and chancel:
The other smaller windows in the nave and porch are of Ferguson & Urie’s simple stock windows comprising of plain diamond quarries and the red, blue and yellow borders. These would have been the original windows installed at the time of the churches construction in 1866-67. Those in the porch appear to be replicas of the originals.
Biography: Sir William John Clarke (1831-1897)
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