The Rose Window

Following the 2nd World War, the High Blantyre Parish Church underwent a renovation which saw the commission and installation of a large circular and very impressive stained glass window, commonly known today as “The Rose Window”. Next time you’re there have a close look at the workmanship. The central panel depicts, as seems most appropriate for a window above the pulpit, the Holy Spirit descending into the congregation. The blue background stands for the sky. “Behind” the blue background the artist has depicted a faint glow suggesting the glory from which the dove has come.

The Holy Spirit is central, not only in the life of the congregation, but also in giving meaning to the various aspects of Christian faith. So in the various surrounding panels are depicted the various symbols of the faith illumined by the Spirit.The central position below the dove would naturally have been occupied by the cross. In this case that position is taken by the Cup, because of the special importance of the cup in the tradition of the congregation.  It stands also for the central mystery of faith. The Lord refers to the Cross as a Cup he must drink.

Central above the figure of the Dove is the Flame of the Holy Spirit. Other symbols depicted are the Corn of Wheat which was cast into the ground, and the Fruit of the Vine which was Christ’s blood; the Bible and the Lamp of Truth; The Shepherd Symbols of the Scrip and Crook, and the fish which stands (in the Greek) for “Jesus Christ Son of God Saviour”; the Cross and the anchor of Hope.

It will be seen from the placing of the symbols how well balanced they are, not merely from the point of view of colour and design, but also with respect to theological truth. The artist is Mr John Blyth, Edinburgh, the youngest of a very distinguished group of stained glass artists.

Reference, Blantyre Old Parish Magazine, April 1953

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