21-07-1868: St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Myers Street, Bendigo, Victoria

St Paul’s Cathedral in Myers street Bendigo contains a number of original historic stained glass windows by Ferguson & Urie of North Melbourne.

St Paul’s was built as a parish church in 1868 to the designs of the Irish Architect Robert Alexander Love[1], with the contractors being Deague and Cowper[2]. In July 1868 a contract was made with Ferguson & Urie for the supply of the twelve apostle stained glass windows for the nave at a cost of £250, with a further two smaller windows for the organ lights to be contributed by the company at no cost[3].

As seen in November 2012, two and a half of the original Ferguson & Urie windows in the nave no longer exist. The liturgical south wall still contains six of the original two light windows, each with a small symbol in the apex with the names of the Saints; John, Philip, Paul, Thomas, James the Less, and Simon. On the north wall, only three and a half of the original Ferguson and Urie windows exist. In the apex of each they have the names of the saints; Jude, Matthew, Bartholemew, and James the Great. The two light window with the name of St Bartholemew in the apex has had the right lancet completely replaced with stained glass by “J. Valstar, ‘73”. The last two bays of windows, to the right of the St James the Greater window, are complete replacements that were most likely the work of Brooks, Robinson & Co after 1948, and depict St Andrew & St James and dedicated to the Gall family, and St Peter & St John and dedicated to the Williams family.

High above either side of the Myers street entrance are two other smaller Ferguson & Urie windows, possibly being the ones originally described as “the organ lights,” donated by Ferguson & Urie. These two small windows each depict an angel with a ribbon containing the text “O Sing unto the Lord” (Psalms 96-1) and “Sing Praise upon the Harp” (Psalms 147-7). The later, as at 17th November 2012, has the angels face missing completely.

Photos taken: 17th November 2012.

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Each of the original stained glass windows in the nave are typical of the Ferguson & Urie geometric designs from their early period (1860’s-70’s). Each lancet has a central scrolling ribbon with the following scripture contained within each ribbon:

South Wall:- (east to west)

St John: “I HAVE NO GREATER JOY THAN TO HEAR” “THAT MY CHILDREN WALK IN TRUTH, 3. John 1-4”

St Philip: “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. John 8-12”. “SURALY THE LORD IS IN THIS PLACE, John 28-16”.

St Paul: “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH, Rom 1-17”. “BE NOT WEARY IN WELL DOING, 2. Thes 3-13”

St Thomas: “LET THE WICKED FORSAKE HIS WAYS, Is 55-7”. “BEAR YE ONE ANOTHERS BURDENS, Corinthians 6-2”.

St James ye Less: “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD, Amos 4-12”. “HONOR THE LORD WITH THY SUBSTANCE, Pro 3-9”.

St Simon: “GOD IS LOVE, John 4-8”. “ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, Epns 4-6”.

West Wall:- South side:

An Angel carrying a ribbon containing the text, “O SING UNTO THE LORD” (From Psalms 96-1).

West Wall:- North side:

An Angel carrying a ribbon containing the text, “SING PRAISE UPON THE HARP” (From Psalms 147-7).

North Wall:- (west to east)

St Jude: “STAND FAST IN THE FAITH, 1.Cor 16-13”. “WATCH AND PRAY, Matt 26-41”.

St Matthew: ‘BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART, Matt 5-8”. “ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN, Matt 7-7”.

St Bartholemew: “HOLINESS BECOMETH THINE HOUSE, Ps 93-5”. (The right lancet is a complete replacement by “J. Valstar, ‘73”)

St James ye Great: “SPEAK NOT EVIL ONE OF ANOTHER, James 4-11”. “TO ME TO LIVE IS CHRIST, Phils 1-21”.

The last two bays of windows towards the east end are complete replacements depicting St Andrew & St James and dedicated to the Gall family, the other depicts St Peter & St John and dedicated to the Williams family. These were done post 1948 and were most likely the work of the stained glass studio of Brooks, Robinson & Co of Melbourne.

Of the two replacement windows, which two apostle names did they originally have on them? What piece of scripture was written in the ribbons on each lancet? By a process of elimination I can only ascertain that one of them should have been St Andrew. The name of the other apostle would probably be the source of a long argument due to the complexity of who was really who, and at what point in history the existing names in the windows were taken to be apostles, or whether they are technically correct to start with. St Paul’s Church historical minute books may be the only records to confirm  this, as well as what pieces of scripture were written on the missing windows!

Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Tuesday 21st July 1868, page 2.

“ST. PAUL’S CHURCH.- The committee of this church met the Bishop of Melbourne yesterday at the church, and after an inspection of the building and plans, the Bishop expressed his great satisfaction at the progress made. An adjournment took place to the Duke’s room at the Shamrock Hotel, and there a long conversation ensued on matters connected with the church in which it was stated that the building would be completed by November, and that the committee would be able to give a salary of £500 to a pastor for the first year. The names of several pastors were named, and it was left to the committee to signify to the Bishop upon whom their choice would fall, and he would take the necessary steps for confirming it. The church will be comfortably and handsomely fitted up internally; a contract has been made with Messrs Ferguson, Urie, Lygon[4] [sic], for twelve stained glass windows for £240, the contributors agreeing to contribute two stained glass windows for the organ lights. Subscriptions have been coming in freely. The committee appear to have been highly gratified at the warm interest taken in their affairs by the Bishop, and it is hoped that when he comes up to open the church, he will also lay the foundation stone of the tower in which the peal of bells are to be hung”.

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers, Saturday 8th August 1868, page 3.

“The committee of St. Paul’s Church, Bendigo, met the Bishop of Melbourne on 21st ult, at the church, and, after an inspection of the building and plans, the Bishop expressed his great satisfaction at the progress made…”

“…a contract has been made with Messrs Ferguson, Urie and Lyon for twelve stained glass windows for £240, the contributors agreeing to contribute two stained glass windows for the organ lights”

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers, Monday 19th April 1869, page 101.

“ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, EAST SANDHURST.

We give a view of the new Church of England at Sandhurst, as it will appear when finished, but at present the nave only is completed, and so enclosed next to the transcripts as to enable holding of public worship. The large number of Episcopalians residing in Sandhurst has made this work for some years back a necessity. The portion now completed was opened by the Dean of Melbourne for public worship last November, and is capable of accommodating over 350, and the whole is designed to seat 800. From the Sandhurst Evening News of 5th November 1868, we take the following description of this really excellent structure:- “We find an interior that will bear favorable comparison with any in the colonies as far as now finished, and we question if there is an open timbered roof out of Britain which surpasses the one here, spanning from wall to wall in graceful cuspings, at once light, strong, and elegant. The windows, twelve in number, are filled with elegant stained glass, each having an apolostic emblem, with a variety of monograms and quotations from scripture on freely executed scrolls, in the finest harmony and taste, and were executed by Messrs Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of Melbourne. The Style adopted is the lancet-pointed or Gothic of so-called transition period, – though from “Norman” to “Tudor” we fancy it was transition throughout – and when the designer’s intention is fully developed we are satisfied it will place him on a footing not to be disputed . The ventilation of the building is on an entirely new plan, by the architect, R. A. Lowe[5] [sic], as the air is admitted high up by tubular walls and ornamental gratings, which have their reception openings in the bare externally, regulated by a metal air damp in the quantity of air admitted according to the season. We wish the trustees and their architect high success in the further carrying out of this sacred edifice. Messrs Deague and Cowper are the contractors”.

 Foot notes:

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