1872: Christ Church Anglican, Geelong, Victoria.

The 25th Anniversary Window.

The second historical Ferguson & Urie stained glass window to be erected in Christ Church at Geelong was a three light Gothic decorated design by the company’s senior stained glass artist and partner John Lamb Lyon. It was erected in the liturgical north side of the nave in Christ Church circa August 1872 which was a year before Lyon departed the firm for his own ventures in Sydney.

The instigator for the erection of this window was the Parish Incumbent, Canon George Goodman, who served as Vicar of Christ Church and other ecclesiastic appointments for 51 years from 1855 to 1906. His wife Margaret is credited with the momentum and collection of subscriptions for the window, which cost £50 with a further £5 required for its wire protection.

The three light window was erected to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Melbourne diocese and Prelacy of Bishop Charles Perry [1]. It depicts the biblical images of the alter egos of the four evangelists, with the Agnus Dei or Paschal Lamb in the centre light carrying the victory banner.

All of the text on the window is in Latin and the text at the base loosely translates as:

“Feast of St Peter’s Day (29th of June) 1872. Episcopate of Melbourne’s 25th year”.

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Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 16th August 1872, page 2.

“A few weeks ago it was mentioned that Mrs. G. Goodman was actively bestirring herself collecting subscriptions for an ornamental window, which it was proposed should take the place of a window on the north side of Christ Church, through which the summer sun occasionally shone too powerfully. In addition to this she is desirous that a memorial window should be placed in the church to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Right Rev. Dr. Perry’s prelacy. The sum required was £55, not much in itself, but large when the many calls that are being made upon the congregation are taken into consideration, and unassisted, Mrs Goodman accomplished her task. A window was ordered of Messrs Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, of Melbourne. The artistic talents of Mr Lyon, who has lately returned from following medieval studies in the various cathedrals of Europe, were called into requisition, and the result was that during the past week a window has been placed in Christ Church that cannot fail to be admired. Many may consider there is a preponderance of green about it, but this colour was deemed the best for the powerful sun to shine through. The window, which is of the early decorated order, consists of three light, with two quatrefoils and a small oblong in the arch. The groundwork is a combination of faint yellow, with passion flowers outlined in black, so as to give a greenish hue, which as before hinted, subdues the glare of the northern sun. In a centre light, in a ruby ground, is the lamb and flag emblem of the Agnus Dei, within a vesica piscis. Four circular medallions with green borders are placed in the centre and side lights, so as to combine with the vesica in a cruciform arrangement, containing emblems of the four evangelists, viz.- the human face for St. Matthew, the lion for St. Mark, the ox for St. Luke, and the eagle for St. John. The wings of these emblematic creatures are of a cold blue, edged with green, to act as a foil to the bright ruby and violet distributed over the window. The inscription intimates that the window is erected in honour of the completion of the 25th year of the diocese of Melbourne, bearing date St. Peter’s Day (June 29th), 1872. The words of the inscription, like those of the evangelists’ names and of the Agnus Dei, are in Latin – “Festo S. Petri, MDCCCLXXII, Episcopatur Melbornsi, XXV annos condito.” The net cost of the window was £50, but £5 more was required for protecting it with wire.”

The instigators for the erection of the window:

Margaret Elizabeth Goodman (nee Mortlock 1821-1901) was former governess for the Marquis of Normanby and married Anglican clergyman George Goodman (1821-1908) in St. Bride’s, Fleet Street, London on the 1st July 1853. Just over three weeks later they departed Bristol for Australia aboard the ‘Corfield’ on the 23rd July 1853 and arrived in December of 1853[2].

Margaret died 26th September 1901 aged 80 and Canon George Goodman died 25th June 1908 at the age of 87. Both were interred in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery along with four of their children [3][4].

Of Christ Church itself, it is the only Church in Victoria designed by architect Edmund Blacket. It was opened and dedicated on the 27 June 1847 and consecrated on 25 October 1859.

Other references:

NLA Obituary: Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 26th June 1908, page 3.

Australian Dictionary of Biography: Canon George Goodman (1821-1908).

Other Ferguson & Urie windows in Christ Church:

Other Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows in Christ Church include the Chancel window (c. Nov 1869) and the ‘John Rendall Morris’ memorial window in the liturgical north transept (c.1873).


[1] Geelong Advertiser, Vic, Friday 16th August 1872, page 2.

[2] http://www.archerfamily.org.uk/family/goodman.htm (accessed 6 Jul 2014). Note: This reference can not be substantiated from any shipping registers.

[3] Geelong Cemetery Register: 5967, EAS-COE-OLD-A-807-051

[4] Geelong Cemetery Register: 4709, EAS-COE-OLD-A-807-072


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