Bradford: The Cathedral Church of St. Peter
After Saltaire, I dropped my traveling companion back at the hotel (the wife of one of Dave’s colleagues: Helen) and decided to go and see some stained glass. I was going through withdrawal after all of Italy’s cathedrals and basilicas.
The main church was about 3 blocks from our hotel and is called The Cathedral Church of St. Peter. It’s Anglican, and has a simplicity about it that allowed me to engage in a way I didn’t in the large cathedrals in Italy, although they are probably more showy.
I walked through the church close (church grounds) past this window. Although I love stained glass windows, sometimes the outsides, with the structure of the window more evident are just as intriguing.
The stained glass in this church seemed less of a gloriously framed decoration and more of a chance to look on the art and think. What a worshipper might think about would depend on the window they were studying, I guess. I have always loved this verse that begins: “Let us now praise famous men.”
The faces and the detail in the clothing was pronounced, like a picture drawn in inks. I have thought about this and wondered if it was because the glass was so close to me–I could have touched it. Most other glasses are so far away.
Mary and Martha with Jesus–a parable I’ve wrestled with more than once. Busy by inclination in my younger years, I would retort that someone had to get the meal ready. But maybe this parable could reference one woman, but at different ages of her life: the busy years–with Christ reminding that woman to take time to study and drink of the Living Water–and the later years–when contemplation takes more of a center stage as the capacity for busy-ness wanes.
William Morris has three windows in this cathedral. Contasted with the other stained glass, his are “simpler,” more linear.
Of course, all this thinking about gospel themes, led by the windows, was enhanced by the choir and organ practicing for Evensong later that afternoon.
I tried and tried to get this window captured, but failed every time. It’s a triptych with a choir of angels holding a banner that has similar words to one of my favorite hymns:
From their labors rest,
Who thee by faith
Before the world confess’d
Thy name, O Jesu, be
For ever blest. Alleluia.