Nave window - Cross, Crown and Palm

Stained Glass Windows

There are a wealth of stained glass windows in the church. Some of the windows were designed by Butterfield, and made by by Heaton, Butler and Bayne, others were added by 1920.

This page looks at the Nave, the Lady Chapel and the War Memorial stained glass windows, other stained glass are in the Chancel section. The images wend their way from the West End of the church, down the North Aisle towards the East End and back up the South Aisle to the West End followed by the two Lady Chapel windows. The War Memorial window includes a stained glass window with a plaque commemorating those fallen in World War I and list of names of those from our parish who died during World War II; these are included at the bottom of the page.

The Chancel Stained Glass Windows are included within The Chancel pages.

Please select the window from a section to open a Lightbox with a full view of the window where a zoom is available to look at the window in more detail.


West End Windows

South West window ~ The Baptism of Jesus and Suffer the Little Children

This window depicts the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, and Christ with the little children. This window is by William Butterfield.

Central West window ~ 'Holy, Holy, Holy'

Under the tower arch is the west window which depicts the worship of the Saints in Heaven. Some have already cast down their Golden Crowns in the glassy sea as described in the Revelation of St John the Divine (Ch 4:6)

North West window ~ Noah and Moses

Noah carries the Ark and Moses the stones with the Ten Commandments. This window is by William Butterfield.


North Aisle Windows

War Memorial Window ~ The Dying Soldier

The War Memorial window was dedicated in November 1919 to honour those from the Parish who died during the Great War. The inscription at the bottom of the window reads:

‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’.

The subject, a soldier lying dead at the feet of Christ on the Cross, was copied from a picture entitled ‘The Great Sacrifice’ by James Clark which hangs in St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham on the Isle of Wight.

The Sower

The next window represents the sower and the seed, with Christ harvesting the crop. The inscription ‘Homo plantat sed Deus dat incrementum’ translates as ‘Man plants but God gives the increase’. The window is dedicated by parishioners and friends to the memory of Charles William Reeves, who served as a churchwarden from 1892-1897 and 1909-1924.

The Good Samaritan

This window illustrates the parable of the Good Samaritan. ‘When he saw him he had compassion on him.’ It is dedicated to Fred Porter, a churchwarden and choir member from 1884-1923.

The Holy Family

This beautiful window represents the life of the Holy Family. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’ The inscription dedicates the window to Ronald Percy Jeaffreson, a lance corporal in the Honourable Artillery Company, who was killed during the Great War at Bullecourt, France in 1917, at the age of 19.

The Prodigal Son

This window depicts the return of the prodigal son, with his older brother working in the field. ‘I will arise and go to my father.’ This window was a gift from Colonel Nevell in 1931. ‘To the Glory of God and in gratitude for His many mercies during 90 years’.


South Aisle Windows


In this window Christ is Baptising the child in His arms. In the background can be glimpsed St Mary Magdalene's font. ‘Baptising them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and lo I am with you all the days even unto the end of the world.’


Here Christ is laying hands on a kneeling figure of Christian in Confirmation. A priest with an angel accompanies Christian. In the background St Mary Magdalene’s altar can be glimpsed. ‘Return unto the shepherd and Bishop of your souls.’

Holy Communion

In the Eucharist window, Christ is administering the Chalice to Christian with an angel accompanying him. ‘My flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed.’


This window depicts Christian's fight against evil. He is carrying the flag of St George. The Risen Lord is shown with Calvary in the distance. ‘Whose I am and whom I serve my grace is sufficient for thee’. This window is dedicated to the memory of a churchwarden, James Washington Crouch, who died in 1907.

Christ the King & Christian

Here Christian, accompanied by an angel, kneels before Christ the King. He has laid aside his armour and prays to be received into heaven. ‘The righteous live for evermore, their reward also is with the Lord. Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom & a beautiful crown from the Lord's hands.’


The Lady Chapel Windows

The Annunciation

This window depicts the Angel Gabriel announcing to Mary the news that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and bear Jesus, the Son of God. Hovering over Mary and Gabriel is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. Luke 1:26-38

St Cecilia and Persis

St Cecilia, the Patron Saint of music and Persis the Beloved as a teacher. Persis was an early Christian who appears in St Paul's Letter to the Romans. This window is dedicated to seven sisters by the name of Siffken who devoted their lives to art and teaching from 1835-1929.


The War Memorial

A specially commissioned stained glass window was added as a war memorial for those from the parish who lost their lives in the First World War. Their names were added to two plaques on either side of the window. A new page has been added as a result of our Armistice Centenary display, St Mary Magdalene Enfield and the Great War, with more details of those listed here.

From the Parish Magazine

In September 2019 we were joined one Sunday at Parish Communion by a lovely couple, Mary and Scott Hagedorn, who were visiting from the United States. Mary is the great-great niece of James Clark, the artist who painted The Great Sacrifice, the image which was used for our War Memorial window. Mary and Scott had heard about our window and wanted to see it for themselves. Mary told me a lot of interesting things about her family connections and has kindly sent us a copy of a photo of James Clark with his wife, Elizabeth, and also an image of a self-portrait of the artist, which I hope to put on display in the church sometime soon.

After visiting us, Mary and Scott were travelling to the Isle of Wight to see the original painting by her great-great uncle, which is held in St Mildred’s church at Whippingham. Our conversation got me thinking about the stories behind our War Memorial window – there are several strands – and so I did some research.

The Artist James Clark and his wife
James Clark and his wife
James Clark - self portrait
James Clark - self portrait

The Artist

James Clark was born in West Hartlepool on the North-East coast in 1858. He trained first as an architect but in 1877 went to London to study art at the National Art Training School. He completed his training at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and at that time his work was considered to be rather avant-garde.

Returning to Britain, he married his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Hunter, and they settled in Chelsea. Eventually they had a family of three girls and three boys. James was a successful artist working in different media and genres and he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy.

It was The Great Sacrifice, painted in 1914 and reproduced as a print in the weekly illustrated newspaper, The Graphic, in December, 1914, which brought him fame. The image struck a chord with the public and became “the most popular painting of the war”, according to one historian. Although some serving soldiers felt it did not truly reflect the horrors they had seen, it brought comfort to bereaved families and gave them faith that their loved one’s sacrifice was not in vain but for a greater good.

James Clark donated his original painting to the War Relief Charity Sale at the Royal Academy and it was bought by Queen Mary, who gave it to her aunt-by-marriage, Princess Beatrice (Queen Victoria’s youngest child), whose son, Prince Maurice of Battenberg, had been killed in France early in the war. After the war, Princess Beatrice donated the painting to St. Mildred’s church on the Isle of Wight to hang in the Battenberg Chapel there.

Clark returned to his native West Hartlepool after it had been shelled by German ships out in the North Sea, which resulted in great loss of life and public outrage that civilians had been targeted. He painted what is probably his second most famous painting, The Bombardment of the Hartlepools, (16th December, 1914).

After the war, Clark designed war memorials and stained-glass windows, of which our window is a fine example. He died in Reigate, Surrey in 1943. If you would like to see more of his work, log on to the Art UK website and select Artists, type in his name and you will be able to see images of the 25 works of his which are held in British public collections.

Centenary of the the end of World War one
Centenary window of the end of World War One featuring 'The Great Sacrifice' window

The Window

This year is not only the Centenary of the First Remembrance Sunday in 1919 but also the Centenary of our window being installed.

As early as May, 1917, an article in the Parish Magazine reported that there was a desire for a permanent record of all the parishioners who were serving in the Armed Forces and especially a memorial to those who had fallen. The Vicar suggested that “the picture, entitled The Great Sacrifice, painted in oils, which represents a wounded soldier leaning on the arm of a comrade and the figure of our Blessed Saviour in the background, standing as if ready to help, should be hung in some prominent place in the church…”. Although the idea met with approval, it was decided that nothing should be done until after the war.

If you are thinking that this is not the image that we have in the window, that is probably because there were some variations on the original image and perhaps the Vicar was thinking of one of these.

The Parish magazine of February, 1919 reports that there was a meeting of the congregation where two of the ladies, Mrs. Porter, who was the wife of a former Churchwarden, and Mrs. Crook, who had been an indefatigable fund-raiser during the war, proposed that the memorial should be “two stained glass windows…placed in the church to the memory of those who had fallen, and their names inscribed in close proximity. This was carried unanimously.”

By June, 1919, the Magazine reported on the amazing progress made by the special committee set up to organise and raise the funds for the window.

“We are glad to say that the memorial to those connected with the Church or parish of S. Mary Magdalene, whether Churchmen or Non-Conformists, who have made the Great Sacrifice in the war, has at last taken a definite shape. The Committee have decided to put one window in the Church with the names, ranks and regiment, of those who have given their lives on each side. The subject chosen is the celebrated picture, ‘The Great Sacrifice’…”

And, even better,

“We are most fortunate in having been able to get the painter of the picture to produce the window and fit it complete….”

James Clark also worked in stained glass, and either because St. Mary Magdalene’s was quick off the mark, or perhaps because there was some personal connection between someone in the congregation and the artist, (I have not yet investigated this part of the story), our war memorial window was made by the artist himself. In the December, 1919 issue of the Parish Magazine, it is reported that:

“Our War Memorial Window was solemnly dedicated by the Vicar at the Morning Service on Sunday, November 2nd…”

This year, then, at our Remembrance Service on Sunday, 10th November, our window will be one hundred years old.

(to be continued…)

Joy Heywood, The Archivist

World War I Inscriptions

The Names on the left plaque:

Bailey E.H.P. Lt. R.A.F.
Beevor FV. 2nd Lt. 1st Middlesex. R.
Cartledge C.A. 2nd Lt. 5th Northhampton R.
Clements H. Pte. K.R. Rifles
Cope W.C. Pte. City of London R. Fus.
Cossar N.T. 2nd Lt. Rifle Bde.
Darrington C.P. Lt. London R.B.
Driscoll A. Cpl.7th Middlesex R.
Fairbanks Arnold Cpt. York R.
Frost C.B. Lt. R.F.A.
Foster A. Cpl. R.W. Kent R.
Gifford W.R. 2nd Lt. City of London RF
Gough J.B.T. Maj. Herts R.
Godward E.J. 2nd Lt. 7th Middlesex R.
Hunter R. Lt. War R.H.A.
Jeaffreson R.P. L/Cpl. H.A.C.
Johnson E.L.W. Pte. London Rang.
Langford F. Pte. London R.
Maddox L.G. M.C. Lt. Queens London
Maitland A.J. 2nd Lt. R.F.C.

The Names on the right plaque:

Millar J.P. Lt. Scot. Rifles
Matthews H. Pte. 8th Middlesex R.
Newcombe C.F. Pte. N.Lancs.R.
Newcombe S.J. Pte. R.Berks.R
Oakley J. Pte. Suff.R
Pitcher A. Tpr. West Dns.
Potter G.T. Pte. Wilts.R
Potter R.F. 2nd Lt. 4th N.Staff.R
Pryherch G.J. Tpr. City of London Yeo.
Slade H. Dr. R.G.A.
Slade E.J. Pte. R.Rif.B.
Scott F.C.D. Lt. Durh. L.I.
Scott V.W. M.C Lt. E.Surr.R.
Smith E.A. 2nd Lt. R.War.R.
Smith W.A. Tpr. Herts. Yeo.
Taylor F.J. Cpl. C.Gds.
Tong T. Pte. Aurailian I.F.
Trenchard J.W.H. Lt. R.G.A.
Vanderpump A.E. M.C. Capt. 52nd Can.Batt.
Verity E.C. Pte. R.Fus.London R.
Weld H.E. 2nd Lt. 2/S.Gds.

World War I Memorial plaque

Photos © John Salmon

Nave window detail - Lamb