Our Stained Glass windows

The Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, Wingates

In the Benefice of Daisy Hill, Westhoughton & Wingates


The Stained Glass Windows




THE EAST WINDOW : The Ascension of Jesus


         Jesus is Baptised in the River Jordan

         The Woman at the Well

         Saint Peter and the Keys to Heaven

         The Last Supper


         The Angel’s Message to Mary

         Mary with the Infant Jesus

         The Garden of Gethsemane

         Jesus and Mary Magdalene


         The Widow’s Mite

         Jesus and the Little Children

         The Resurrection of Jesus








   For hundreds of years stained glass has been used to decorate our churches and cathedrals. Whether they are large or small these windows are individual works of art displaying artistic and skilful craftsmanship. Many illustrate particular stories from the Bible as in Wingates Parish Church where each of the twelve pictorial stained glass windows is taken from an event written in the New Testament.

   The windows have bold clear designs and lovely strong colours which is in keeping with the popularity of such designs in the Gothic style in the quarter century following the consecration of the new church of St. John the Evangelist on Thursday, 30th June 1859

Olivia Heavyside

July 2013





THE EAST WINDOW : The Ascension of Jesus



   This beautiful window has Jesus at the centre with angels and cherubs around him as he ascends into heaven. At the very top is the Pascal Lamb which symbolises Jesus as the Lamb of God. Beneath the feet of Jesus is the serpent to show he has overcome evil. The rainbow sweeping behind his shoulders reminds us of God’s covenant or promise.

   The lower part of the window shows Mary and eleven disciples watching in wonder as described in Acts 1.6-11.

   The colour and splendour of this window is shown at its best when the morning sunlight reminds us that the risen Jesus is the Light of the world.


   The window was given by John Pilkington, a local mill owner and generous benefactor of the church.

                                                                    Lk 24.53






   The stained glass windows on the south side of the nave were given in memory of members of the Pilkington family, who lived at Lostock Grange just off Church Lane.


   The four events depicted are in chronological order when viewed beginning at the foyer end then moving along to the end nearest the pulpit. It can be noted that the stone tracery at the top of each window has a different shape. At first glance there appears to be two similar designs of stonework at the top but on closer inspection it can be seen that every one has its own individual framework.

   Each of the four windows has a narrow stained glass border in a similar design. Within the top of this narrow foliage border two intricate designs are used above the characters of the Bible stories.




Jesus is Baptised in the River Jordan



   Below Jesus on the left the meaning of the Latin inscription is ‘Jesus was baptised’ and continuing across to the other section is ‘The world is regenerated’. The banner attached to the staff which Jesus holds reads  ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ which was declared by John the Baptist who is seen standing on the right.

   The border foliage is the same in design and colour as the ‘Keys to Heaven’ window further to the left on this south side of the nave.

Mt 3.3-17; Mk 1.9-11




The Woman at the Well



   Jesus is by the water of the well with the woman of  Samaria alongside him holding her water pitcher.

   Above, in the stone tracery, the small white-clothed figure in the centre circle is holding a banner which reads ‘Never man spake like this man’ (Jn 7.46).

   ‘Who thirsts come to me and drink’ is the translation of the Latin words ‘Qui Sitit Veniat Ad Me Et Bibat’ just inside the bottom border.

Jn 4.4-42




Saint Peter and the Keys to Heaven



   On the left side of the window is Jesus, the Good    Shepherd, with sheep behind him. The banner above his head and continuing across on the right side reads ‘Whatsoever shall be loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven’. The disciple Peter is holding the key to heaven. Two other disciples can be seen behind him.

   In the tracery above the two main sections of the window is a figure holding a banner showing the words ‘Whose soever sins ye remit they shall be remitted’ (Jn 20.23).

   The Latin, across the bottom, means ‘Saint Peter was given the keys to the gates of heaven’.    

Mt 16.13-19



The Last Supper



   Sitting at the table, on the left side of the window, are four of the disciples. Another disciple can be seen behind Jesus on the right side. The cup of wine is on the table behind Jesus and he is blessing the bread which is in his left hand. On the banner above his head are the words ‘This is my body’.

   The  translation of the Latin inscription across the bottom is ‘Only a small mystery of worship’ (or alternatively ‘Only a small homage to the flesh’).

   The colour and design of the foliage and patterns edging the glass is the same as that of  ‘The Woman at the Well’ window.

Mt 26.26-29; Lk 22.14-22






   These four  windows are the gift of James Hartley Charlton in memory of his mother Mrs Alice Charlton. An acknowledgement of this generous gift is printed in the first issue of the joint ‘Westhoughton and Wingates Parish Magazine’ of April 1884.


   Like the four windows on the south side of the nave they have illustrations from the life of Jesus. Again they are in chronological order when viewed  from the foyer end, going along to the organ which unfortunately blocks the view of the fourth window.

   These windows have the same shape of stone work throughout. As with the windows on the south side, they too have a unifying design of foliage around each panel of stained glass, although no two borders are the same colouring and outline. There are also different foliage arrangements in the top panels.

   The interpretation of the designs of this set of stained glass has been without the help of most of the sentences below the main figures. This wording in Latin has deteriorated beyond accurate deciphering.

   Each window along this side of the nave has a pair of small angels in the bottom part of the glass. These are all similar but have slight differences in design.



The Angel’s Message to Mary



    The angel Gabriel here is shown with brown wings. He is holding a lily which signifies purity. The Virgin Mary is graciously listening as he announces to her that she will have a baby who will be the Son of God and he is to be called Jesus.

   The bottom panels have an angel with hands together praying and an angel with hands uplifted in blessing.

   The banner above the angel Gabriel is ‘Hail Mary full of Grace’ and the banner above Mary is ‘Behold the Handmaid of the Lord’.

   Across the two panels the same two quotations are written in Latin ‘Ave Maria Gratia Plena’ (Hail Mary full of Grace) and  ‘Ecce Ancilla Domini’ (Behold the Handmaid of the Lord)

Lk 1.26-38



Mary with the Infant Jesus



   Here is the very early life of Jesus, with his mother Mary and her husband Joseph. It may be before they fled to Egypt for safety although perhaps the staff Joseph is holding signifies they are already on that journey away from King Herod.

   An alternative interpretation is they could be leaving Egypt to settle back in Nazareth.

   The base of each panel is again depicting an angel with two other patterns on their clothing.

   The Latin wording across the two panels can only be seen in part, making an accurate translation impossible.

Mt 2.13-23




The Garden of Gethsemane



   The disciples Peter, James and John have been found asleep when Jesus returned. The sword held by   Peter may indicate what happened shortly afterwards when Judas arrived with a crowd from the chief priests.

   There is an angel hovering in the background above Jesus.

   As with the other windows on this side of the nave the small angel in the bottom left has gold coloured wings, while those on the right are white.

   The bottom inscription is again much deteriorated.

Mt 26.36-56; Mk 14.32-47




Jesus and Mary Magdalene



   Viewing of this window is blocked by the organ. It follows the chronological order of this set of windows.

   There are only two figures illustrated in the main sections. In the left panel is Jesus, while in the right  panel, holding a jar of spices, is Mary Magdalene. Outside the empty tomb she had turned to see Jesus whom she had mistakenly thought to be the gardener.

   On the banner above the head of Jesus is ‘Touch me not’, but the words on the banner above Mary Magdalene are too faint to distinguish.

   In the bottom section of the panels there are two small angels making a pair in the same style as the other  three  windows in this group.

   All the Latin inscription across both panels has become obscured and is no longer decipherable.

Jn 20.1-18







    The remaining three stained glass windows can again be described as memorial windows, although they were placed on separate occasions under very different circumstances.

    Each one is situated where it is not readily seen by members of a congregation.

    One is in the foyer. The other two are at the east end of the church where one is the first and the other the last stained glass to be installed in the church. The latter, in the sanctuary, is the only one of the twelve stained glass windows where the maker’s name has been identified.




The Widow’s Mite



   In the foyer is a two light stained glass window. The one large trefoil shaped window in the stonework at the top is partly obscured by the new ceiling.

   In the left light is the figure of Jesus standing in the centre of the group. They are watching the widow, shown in the right light of the window, as she places her offering. ‘She has done what she could’ is written below.

   The inscription reads ‘A farewell offering to the glory of God in rememberance of a short ministry. Easter 1861’.


   The Rev William Kenneth Macrorie, who came to Wingates in 1860 and served for less than one year, had this window placed shortly before he left to be Rector of Wapping in Middlesex. He was later consecrated Bishop of Maritzburg in South Africa.

Mk 12.41-44; Lk 21.1-4




Jesus and the Little Children



   In the chancel is the first stained glass window to be installed after the church was built in 1859.

   It was given in memory of two little sisters, Sarah and Eleanor Thicknesse, by Mrs Thicknesse senior who was the mother-in-law of the Vicar of Deane.


   The inscription below the two main panels is in English. On the left, below the picture of Jesus with  the little children, it reads ‘Suffer little children to come unto me’. On the right Jesus is holding a small child, with his disciples looking on. The wording here is ‘Lovest thou me. Feed my lambs’. There are  lambs seen faintly behind Jesus.

   Above each of the main panels, in the stone tracery, is a small trefoil shaped window depicting a small angel clothed in white.

Mt 19.13-15; Mk 10.13-16



The Resurrection of Jesus


   In the sanctuary is the only window where the glass maker’s name is clearly identified. ‘Gibbs and Howard, 64 Charlotte St,  Fitzroy Sq, London’ is at the bottom right.

   At the top is a figure holding a banner on which are  the three letters ‘I S H’. This may be a variation of the more usual ‘I H S’.

   On the left, at the feet of Jesus, are Mary the mother of James and Mary Magdalene. On the right are Roman soldiers. Three crosses are in the distance.

   Below is ‘The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven’ and ‘To the glory of God and in loving memory of Alfred Augustus Roffe Vicar of this parish. Fell asleep 10th March 1888’.


    The window was the gift of the parishioners. Rev A.A. Roffe was Vicar of Wingates from 1875 to 1888. He had a particular interest in education. It was during his ministry that a school was opened at Fourgates and the one in Chew Moor, which was within the then eastern boundary of the original Wingates Parish, was rebuilt. In 1911 extensions to Wingates School were named the  ‘Roffe Memorial’.

Mt 28.1-5; Mk 16.1-8





   The west wall of the church has a large mullioned window with stone tracery at the top which can be described as forming the shape of a star in the stonework.

   Although this large window is in plain diamond leaded glass, as are the five smaller windows not described here, it deserves a particular mention because all the stone framework and tracery of this great window is bordered throughout by a neat line of red glass and a very narrow line of yellow glass.

   Viewing of the whole of this west window is best from the landing leading to the balcony, but a glimpse of the ‘star’ at the top can be seen by looking back from the chancel.





   The great Victorian tradition of donating stained glass windows in Wingates Parish Church has certainly shown many succeeding generations a marvellous way of illustrating the Bible stories in  clear colourful designs. These wonderful individual pieces of great craftsmanship and art are to be greatly and thankfully treasured.

{This booklet, including photographs, is available in church}