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  • Michael Smith

The Thomas Denny Window at St James' Church

Thomas Denny is a leading British stained glass artist whose work appears in around 30 British churches and cathedrals, including Durham, Gloucester and Hereford. We are particularly fortunate to have an example of his work here at St James'.

Denny was commissioned by the late Catherine Joan Trower in memory of her husband, the late Anthony Gosselin Trower of Stansteadbury. The window, typical of his work, reflects his use of acid in the scoring and gouging ofthe glass to give the finished work a distressed appearance to match the ancient patina of its surroundings.

Situated in the Baeche Chapel, the window comprises two lights and is based upon passages from Psalms 37 (v 3-7) and 84 (v1-2). The text of the latter is to be found adorning the west wall of the chapel, dating from the 18th Century.

In the left hand light, two figures emerge from the shadow of two oak trees, about to join hands as they pass through a landscape representative of that at Stansteadbury itself. Birds and trees illuminate a paradise through which the couple walk in eternal harmony.

On the right, a figure becomes aware of the possibility of revelation. The curtains of his room, and the papers on his desk, are moved by the wind while in the background appears an indistinct mountainous landscape where perhaps the figure enjoyed peaceful times away from his work.

The window is a fine example of Denny's work. It is also a beautiful reminder of Catherine and Anthony and their life together and an appropriate recognition of their devotion to the continued upkeep of St James' church for the benefit of others.

As Psalm 37 reminds us:

Delight thyself also in the Lord;

And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord;

Trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,

And thy judgment as the noon day.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him...

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