Stained Glass of St. John the Divine

Stained Glass of St. John the Divine

There are twelve windows in the Church of St John the Divine, Felbridge, five of which contain stained glass, although none of the windows on the South and East walls are original as they had to be replaced owing to damage coursed during the Second World War when three bombs landed in the grounds of the vicarage and church. The four panes of grisaille glass, (glass painted in a monochromatic style), set into the Western-most window on the South wall of the chancel are all that remain of the original stained glass. This glass shows severe signs of damage and repaired lead work. There are two panes with a red curved interlocking pattern and two with blue, surrounded by painted glass in tones of yellow and burnt umber depicting grapes and vine leaves and vines. Fortunately, Uvedale Lambert, visited and recorded the Church in 1925, and describes the original windows thus:

‘Only four windows in the church have stained glass. The five lights of the East window, beginning from the North, show St Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary, the patron saint St John the Divine in the central light, and St Peter and St James. Above are seen four angels in various attitudes of prayer and praise with St Michael and the vanquished dragon in the centre. The sexfoil in the tracery over his head displays the Agnus Dei [Lamb of God] with two flame coloured cherubs in the little lights on either side. The design has been clearly influenced largely by Burne-Jones and the general effect is distinctly successful. On a small brass beneath the window is inscribed:

To the glory of God and in memory
of Charles Henry Gatty of
Felbridge Place MA Cambridge
University LLD St Andrews
University & JP for the
Counties of Surrey & Sussex
who died 12 December 1903

The shortened South window over the sedilia shows a rather animated picture of how He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided [scolded, chastised, reprimanded] them with their unbelief [Luke 24: 25 and John 20: 26]. The grouping is not unsuccessful but drawing and still more colouring are not my pleasing. The elongated quatrefoil above displays the sacred monogram [IHS] crowned, while in the glass below the storied picture is inscribed:

In loving memory of George Covey of East Grinstead who died 30th May 1868
this window is placed by his affectionate wife.

The South window of the chancel has in its two lights Our Lord with Mary and Martha, [Luke 10: 38-42] and Our Lord with the woman healed of the issue of blood kneeling before Him, [Luke 8: 41-48] both with quotations beneath, above two angels bear scrolls labelled Humility and Faith, while in the glass at the foot is inscribed:

In affectionate memory of Katherine Ellen the dearly beloved wife of
Rev Thomas Fellows. Died 11th September 1872.

It is a poor window and the lettering below the pictures cuts it up disagreeably.

The fourth stained window is that next the South door and its three lights are St John holding the usual emblem of the dragon issuing from the cup, Our Lord with the little children [Luke 18: 16-17] and the Virgin Mary (BVL) [Blessed Virgin Lady]. Below in the glass may be read:

To the glory of God and in memory of
John Cuthbert Joyner
Died 5 Jan 1857

Walter Kensden & Adela died 1859
Children of William & Mary Stenning

Mary Knox Joyner
Died 10 Oct 1870.

It is thoroughly bad early Victorian glass.’

It would appear that two of the windows were not to his taste, although he did rate the East window dedicated to Charles Henry Gatty. It is unfortunate that all four stained glass windows, along with one clear glass window, located in the East wall of the North chapel, and another in the South wall were destroyed on 28th August 1940, and to date only one, very faint, photograph of the East window has surfaced to give an idea of what any of them looked like.

The damaged windows were boarded up for the remainder of the war, and it was not until after the war that they were temporarily re-glazed with plain glass before replacement stained glass was installed, as reported by Rev W H Hewitt in the Parish Magazine of April 1946:

‘As final replacement and repair of the windows by the War Damage Authorities are not likely to be possible for some time, it was decided, both for the sake of more light and less draught, to have the windows temporarily re-glazed with plain glass.’

Funding for war damage repair work was obviously in short supply and this is evident in that only the East window was replaced with stained glass and dedicated to all those who appeared in the three other memorial windows of the church. Geoffrey Webb, master glass painter, executed the stained glass for the replacement East window.

Geoffrey Webb

Geoffrey Fuller Webb was born in 1879, the nephew of the architect Sir Aston Webb who was responsible for many important buildings in London that include, the eastern façade of Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch on the Mall, and the Cromwell Road frontage of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and outside London, the brightly coloured Law Courts in Birmingham. Geoffrey Webb trained at the Westminster School of Art and on leaving worked with Charles Eamer Kempe who at some time in his life lived at Old Place, Lindfield, Sussex. Kempe was born in Ovingdean Hall, Brighton, on the 29th June 1837, and was a prolific stained glass artist and it has been said that there is scarcely a church in Britain within a radius of thirty miles that does not have a Kempe window. A few examples of Kempe’s work can be seen at the cathedrals of Edinburgh, Gloucester, Lichfield, Winchester and Southwark, at Eton School, Lower Chapel and the churches of St Wulfran, Ovingdean, Sussex, St Mary’s, Monmouth, Gwent, St David, Exeter, Devon, and All Saint’s, Stanhoe, Norfolk, there is even one window in St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead.

Geoffrey and his brother Christopher, who was articled to the stained glass artist Sir Ninian Comper, were both stained glass artists of some repute and between them produced a large body of work, particularly between the Wars. Christopher was a traditionalist with the lightness of touch reminiscent of work of the 15th century and probably the best examples of his work can be seen at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, the cathedrals of Southwark and Chichester and in the church of St Lawrence Jewry-next-Guildhall. Geoffrey made good use of white glass in his designs, the result of which allows in much light, giving a richness of colour to his work, being described as having ‘a fine sense of colour and beautiful detail’.

After working with Charles Eamer Kempe, Geoffrey worked for a short period with Herbert Bryans before setting up his own studio in West Street, East Grinstead, working from Brooker’s Yard with his assistant Vivian Smith. His expertise not only brought in commissions to create new designs but also to restore precious ancient glass. Examples of his work can be found at the Woolwich Town Hall that was constructed between 1903 and 1906, where he was responsible for all the stained glass, outlining the history of the locality by portraying eminent residents and notable events. Although a devout Catholic, his work is found in both Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Britain and abroad. Some of these include, not only St John the Divine, Felbridge and St Mary’s, Windmill Lane, East Grinstead, but also, three windows in St Mark’s Cathedral, George, South Africa, a memorial window in St Nicholas, Kingsley, Hampshire, and windows in the parish churches of Cowfold, Lindfield and Oxted, to name but a few, all the windows in the Lady Chapel, Ashdown Park, now the Richard Towneley suite of the Ashdown Park Hotel, and windows for Manchester Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey. He was also commissioned to produce a stained glass that included a group characters from Alice in Wonderland in memory of Lewis Carroll, at the parish church at Daresbury, Cheshire, to commemorate Carroll’s birth at Darebury Parsonage on 27th January 1832.

Geoffrey Webb’s work can be identified by a spider’s web with the initials G W, usually located in the bottom right hand corner of the stained glass design. In addition to his stained glass, Geoffrey also produced decorative metal work, particularly church furniture. Examples of this work include the grille in the gate to Sackville House, High Street, East Grinstead, the house in which he resided, the North doors of St Swithuns Church, East Grinstead, and the village sign at Mayfield, Sussex.

Geoffrey Webb died in 1954, leaving a legacy of his glasswork in Felbridge in the form of at least two windows in the church of St John the Divine that of the replacement East window, and the Eastern-most window in the North wall of the North aisle, dedicated to Rev A Sidley.

East Window

This is the largest of the windows and was completely destroyed during the war. The current window was replaced in 1949 by Geoffrey Webb and incorporates some elements of the original window. The central sexfoil window still has the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God that can be seen in old photographs of the church interior. Under the window there is still the brass plaque to the memory of Charles Henry Gatty that was described by Uvedale Lambert above.

On a plaque under the grisaille window on the South wall of the chancel, a short history about the East window is inscribed, which states that the East window was installed in 1949 and that it replaced four memorial windows that commemorated Dr Charles Gatty, J Whyte, Mrs K Fellows and J C Joyner, shattered by enemy action in August 1940. The original East window was dedicated to the memory of Dr Charles Henry Gatty but the replacement, executed by Geoffrey Webb of East Grinstead, replaced the commemorative windows of the four people mentioned above. The new design represents the Tree of Life as detailed in John 15.

The central figure, situated in the middle of the bottom row, and larger than all the Saints, is a representation of Christ holding a wine goblet. He is stood on the roots of a tree that runs up his back and branches out behind him. Interwoven with the branches is a scroll that reads: I AM THE VINE YE ARE THE BRANCHES.

To the left of the Christ figure, as you face the window, the Northern–most figure is St Mary Magdalene, holding a lidded jar, then St Mary the Virgin, and to the right, St John the Evangelist, holding a book or bible, and then St James, holding a sword and staff as the Southern-most figure. Running left to right above their heads are, St Peter, holding a key and book or bible, St Andrew, holding the X shaped cross, St Stephen, holding a manuscript or book, St Barnabas, holding a rod and book or bible, and St Paul, holding a sword and book or bible.

St Mary Magdalene was from the 1st century AD and appears in the New Testament as the woman of Magdala in Galilee who Jesus cured of her evil spirit, as detailed in Luke 8: 2, she is also traditionally identified with the ‘sinner’ of Luke 7: 37 who anointed the feet of Jesus and her symbol is a jar of ointment. She was present at the crucifixion and burial of Christ and was the first to meet the risen Jesus after his resurrection. She is the patron saint of repentant sinners and her Feast day is 22nd July.

St Mary the Virgin was the mother of Jesus. The New Testament details that she was a virgin betrothed to Joseph when the angelic announcement of the birth of Jesus occurred, and she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Luke’s Gospel we are given Mary’s song of praise, The Magnificat, Luke 1: 46-55. We hear her anxious words when the boy Jesus seemed to be lost, Luke 2: 41-51. She was present at the marriage in Cana, (John 2: 1ff [following from]), and we meet her at the foot of the cross, (John 19: 25). She has several Feast days, 1st January (Roman Catholic Church), 25th March (Annunciation), 15th August (Assumption) and 8th September (Immaculate Conception).

St John the Evangelist is also known as St John the Divine, after whom Felbridge church is dedicated. He was from the 1st century AD and appears in the New Testament. He was an Apostle, son of Zebedee and brother of James. He has traditionally been credited with writing the fourth Gospel, and the Johannine Epistles when he was Bishop of Ephesus, and the book of Revelation while he was exiled to the Greek island of Patmos. He is the patron saint of writers, bookbinders and friendship, his emblem is an eagle and his Feast day is 27th December.

St James, there are several men named James in the New Testament. One James is the son of Zebedee, a Galilean fisherman who was called with his brother John to be one of the twelve apostles, (Matthew 4: 21). These two, along with Peter, formed the inner core of three among the Twelve. They caused envy among the disciples by requesting a place of honour in Christ’s kingdom; and were told they would drink the cup their Master was to drink, (Mark 10: 39), a prophecy which was fulfilled for James when he was ‘killed ... with the sword’ by Herod Agrippa I, c. AD 44, (Acts 12: 2). His emblem is that of a scallop shell, he is the patron saint of apothecaries, blacksmiths, Chile and Spain, and his Feast day is 25th July. The second James, is the son of Alphaeus, another of the twelve apostles, (Matthew 10: 3 and Acts 1: 13). He is usually identified with ‘James the younger’, the son of Mary, (Mark 15: 40). The description ‘the younger’ or ‘the less’ distinguishes him from the sons of Zebedee as either younger or smaller in stature. The third was the brother of Jesus who, along with his brothers Joses, Simon and Judas, (Matthew 13: 55), apparently did not accept the authority of Jesus before the resurrection, as outlined in Mark 3: 21 and John 7: 5. After the risen Jesus had appeared to him, (1 Corinthians 15: 7), he became a leader of the Jewish-Christian church at Jerusalem (Galatians 1: 19 and 2: 9, and Acts 12: 17). Tradition states that he was appointed first bishop of Jerusalem by the Lord himself, (Eusebius, EH 7. 19). He presided at the first Council of Jerusalem, and a few years later, James suffered martyrdom by stoning at the instigation of the high priest Ananus during the interregnum after the death of the procurator Festus in AD 61, (Josephus, Ant. 20. 9). James is the author of the Epistle of James, where he describes himself as ‘a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ’, (James 1: 1). His Feast day is 3rd May.

(Eusebius EH refers to the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, a 4th century bishop, exegete, polemicist and historian, whose account of the first centuries of Christianity is a landmark in Christian historiography. Josephus Ant. Refers to The Antiquities of the Jews, Latin ANTIQUITATES JUDAICAE, an account of Jewish history from its early beginnings to the revolt against Rome in AD66, written in Greek in about AD93, by Flavius Josephus, a general in the Jewish army who defected to Rome. His writings are not always accepted as reliable.)

St Peter was the author of two Epistles in the New Testament and was the leader of the Apostles. He was originally a fisherman of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee, and his real name was Simon but Jesus named him Cephas, Greek for rock. He always stands first in the lists of the disciples, and was one of the three who formed an inner circle around their Master. His impulsive devotion is often portrayed, and he acts as a spokesman for the Twelve, as on the occasion when was the first to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. After the death of Jesus, Peter was the church’s principal preacher (Acts 2: 14ff and 3: 12ff), the spokesman before the Jewish authorities, (Acts 4: 8ff), and the president in the administration of discipline, (Acts 5:3ff). He was the first to accept Gentiles, (non-Jews), into the Church. It seems certain that he spent his last years in Rome and was probably crucified during Nero’s persecution of 64 AD. Because of Christ’s words to him in Matthew 16: 19, his attribute is a set of keys. He is the patron saint of fishermen, butchers, Popes and Rome, and his Feast day is 29th June.

St Andrew was an Apostle and brother of St Peter. An apocryphal work dating from the 3rd century describes his death by crucifixion on an X shaped cross. The X shaped cross became associated with him in the Middle Ages, and since circa 750 he has been regarded as the patron saint of Scotland. He is also patron saint of Russia and Greece, fishermen and spinsters, and his Feast day is 30th November.

St Stephen was one of the original seven deacons in Jerusalem appointed by the Apostles. He incurred the hostility of the Jews and was charged with blasphemy before the Sanhedrin and was stoned to death, so becoming the first Christian martyr. Saul, the future St Paul, was present at his execution. His Feast day is 26th December, in the Western church, and 27th December in the Eastern Church.

St Barnabas appears in the New Testament. He was a Cypriot Levite and Apostle, though not one of the Twelve. He was introduced to St Paul and accompanied him on his first journey to Cyprus and Asia Minor, returning to Cyprus after they disagreed and separated, as detailed in Acts 4:5. He was traditionally the founder of the Cypriot Church and was said to have been martyred in Cyprus in 61 AD. His Feast day is 11th June.

St Paul was known as Paul the Apostle and was born Saul of Tarsus. He was of Jewish descent and was brought up a Pharisee and at first opposed the followers of Jesus, even assisting in the martyrdom of St Stephen. On a mission to Damascus he is said to have been converted to Christianity after a vision and became one of the first major Christian missionaries and theologians. His missionary journeys to places like Philippi and Ephesus are described in the Acts of the Apostles, and he became known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Paul’s understanding of the Christian message often provoked hostility and a riot against him on a visit to Jerusalem led to his arrest by the Roman authorities. He was taken to Rome where it is thought he died a martyr’s death. Several of his letters to early Christian groups have been preserved in the New Testament. Through them his influence on Christian life and thought has been greater than of any other of the first Christians. He is the patron saint of labourers, tent-makers, weavers, saddlers, rope-makers, swordsmen, theologians, doves, and the Catholic press, his emblems are a sword and a book, and his Feast day is 29th June.

Above this row of Saints there appear six figures that represent angels, these are half figures depicted with wings and halos. In the centre at the top is a sexfoil window featuring the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God, an emblem of Christ derived from John 1: 29 and Isaiah 53: 7, symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice.

The East window commemorates the lives of the following people:

Dr Charles Henry Gatty was the son of George Gatty and his wife Frances, and was born in 1836. He was a JP for Surrey and Sussex, MA of Trinity College, Cambridge and Dr of Law of St Andrew’s, Scotland. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), a Fellow of the Linnaen Society (FLS), and a Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS). He inherited Felbridge Place on the death of his mother on 26th August 1876, and became the benefactor to St John’s with the patronage or right of nomination of a Chaplain or Minister. During his life he was considered a ‘country gentleman of considerable means’ and a caring master to work for. He served as a magistrate and a local councillor, but devoted much of his spare time to the study of natural history. He died a bachelor, aged 67, on 12th December 1903, and is buried in the family vault, grave no. D7. 15-21.

John Whyte was born in Ayr, Scotland in 1808, and was a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), Edinburgh, and a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries (LSA). In later life he resided at Lingfield Lodge, London Road, East Grinstead. He was an Honorary Assistant Surgeon in the East Grinstead Rifle Corp, which formed part of the Volunteer Movement, from 18th May 1860 to 19th December 1864. The Volunteer Movement was originally formed in 1803, but with the threat of a French invasion subsiding in 1806, it disbanded, however, in 1859, after an attempted assassination on Napoleon III, where the conspirators had lived in England, it was felt wise to reform the Volunteer Movement to counteract any threat of French invasion. As a response to this, East Grinstead formed a Rifle Corp under the command of Capt. A R Margary of Chartham Park. This local Corp became part of 5th Sussex Rifle Volunteers and was for whom John Whyte served for four years. His first wife was called Anna and in 1851, they are recorded as living in the High Street, East Grinstead. By 1881, he was living at Lingfield Lodge and had married his second wife, Agnes Keltie. John Whyte died, aged 77, on 1st November 1885, and was buried in St John’s Churchyard. Agnes died in 1904, aged 80 years and was buried along side her husband in grave no. D3. 16.

Mrs K Fellows was born Katherine Ellen in 1833, and was the wife of Rev Edward Thomas Fellows. He was the last Minister of the Evelyn Chapel who then became the first vicar of St John’s in 1866 until 1874. Katherine died aged 39, on 11th September 1872, and is buried in grave no. A4. 2-4.

J C Joyner was John Cuthbert Joyner of 34, Denmark Hill, Surrey. He was christened on 29th May 1789, at St Gabriel, Fenchurch, London. He married Mary Knox Child on 25th August 1813, at St Magnus the Martyr, London. Mary was born in 1796. They had Mary Child Joyner, who was born in 1815 and who married William Stenning, of Halsford House, East Grinstead. William was born in 1806, and was part of the Stenning family that had made its fortune in the timber trade, moving from the Croydon area, then to the Newchapel area and by the early 1800’s the East Grinstead area, before ending up in the Robertsbridge area in Sussex.

On 24th January 1822, John Cuthbert Joyner purchased, for £1850, ‘one undivided moiety of a messuage or tenement called ‘Harts Hall’, otherwise known as ‘The Red Lion’ at Felbridge Water, and one barn, one stable and certain lands that belonged with it of about ten acres [now the site of Felbridge Court], with the appurtenances in East Grinstead formerly known as ‘Shermans’, and before ‘Homewoods’ [location unknown]. Also all that barn, buildings and certain customary lands with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, the lands called ‘Mercers’ containing sixteen acres [now the site of the Birches Industrial estate], and all that piece of land later incleared from the water of the manor called Felbridge Heath in the parish of East Grinstead, the aforesaid containing about three acres, abutting ‘Harts Hall’ [being in the parish of East Grinstead would imply this area to be the site of Standen Close]’. This conveyance implies that John Cuthbert Joyner was a man of considerable wealth.

The original window to the memory of John Cuthbert Joyner was also dedicated to his wife Mary Knox Joyner and two of their grandchildren, Walter Kensden and Adela Stenning, children of William and Mary Stenning, who died in 1859, both under the age of ten. John Cuthbert died on 5th January 1857. Walter Kensden, Adela or John Cuthbert Joyner are not buried at St John’s, as it had not been built at the time of their deaths. However, Mary Knox Joyner who died aged 74, on 10th October 1870, in Folkestone, is buried at St John’s in grave no. A7. 1-5.

North Windows
The Sidley Window

This window is the Eastern-most window in the North wall of the North chapel and has a dedication that reads:

In remembrance of Albert Sidley
Vicar of this parish AD 1932 – 1933.

The window depicts the Presentation in the Temple, the figure on the left, as you face it, is Simeon with a scroll above his head, holding the baby Jesus with a halo. The scroll reads: Mine eyes have seen thy salvation. The figure to the right is Anna. Above the heads of Simeon and Anna are the initials St implying saintly status although they are not normally depicted as saints. To the right of Anna’s head can be seen the initials GW 1936, Geoffrey Webb of East Grinstead. The Presentation story is detailed in Luke 2: 22–29.

Simeon was a devout and righteous man who had been informed that he would not die until he’d seen the Lord’s Christ or Messiah and had been told by the Holy Spirit that the baby Jesus would be at the temple in Jerusalem, and it is he who uttered the words ‘Mine eyes have seen thy salvation’. Also living in the temple was Anna, a prophetess of great age, some 84 years old, and she spoke about Jesus to all those who sought redemption in Jerusalem. Both were present when Joseph and Mary presented the baby Jesus to the Lord.

Albert Sidley, to whom the window is a commemoration, was Vicar of the parish of St John the Divine, Felbridge, for just short of one year, between 1932 and 1933. He was born in 1876, started his career in Manchester and then served most of his ecclesiastical life in South London, before moving to the parish of Felbridge on 29th April 1932 (for further details see St. John the Divine Fact Sheet SJC 07/02i). He died aged 57 years and was cremated at West Norwood; his ashes were then interred, on 5th April 1933, at St John’s churchyard, in grave no. A1. 5, which bears the inscription: ‘Make him to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting’, this quotation is from the Te Deum, an ancient Christian hymn of praise, part of the Prayer Book Service of Morning Prayer that would have been said or sung every Sunday while the Prayer Book was in regular use.

The Wren Window
This window is situated to the East of the North door on the North wall of the North chapel and West of the Sidley window. The dedication reads:

+ DIED 1937 +

The window depicts Christ the good shepherd carrying a lamb over his shoulders and a shepherds crook, accompanied by a small flock of three sheep. The Good Shepherd story is detailed in Luke 15: 4-6, and John 10: 11-16. Underneath the figure is the line of text:

My sheep hear my voice and I know them as they follow me.

This window does not have any initials or name of maker.

Agnes Mary Wren was born on 18th February 1882, daughter of Amos and Jane Pattenden of Little Hedgecourt Farm, Felbridge. She married Samuel Wren on 25th April 1914. Samuel was from Walton Cross in the Croydon area and was born in 1880. Before they married, Agnes was a housemaid and Samuel was a gardener, the occupation he continued during their married life.

The following memories of Dorothy Harding give an insight into the life of Agnes Mary Wren: ‘Auntie Peggy was Dora Wheeler’s older sister and they were my mother’s cousins. My first memory of her was when we visited Row Platt Lane, she and her husband, Uncle Sam, lived in one of the three cottages. Auntie Dora and Uncle Charlie in the second and her mother, Aunt Jane, in the third.

As my home was in London, a day in rural Felbridge was a rare treat. My most vivid picture of a trip to Felbridge is of the large garden, probably behind the three cottages. It was stocked with all kinds of produce and several beehives. The ‘country-man’s’ backed on to the pigsty, it had two seats, one for adults and one for children. I was never sure if it was the pigs or not that the odour came from!

Uncle Sam was a gardener and I next recall spending a week with them on a large estate near Petersfield. We seemed to drive for miles along private lanes to their cottage. My sister and I shared a mattress on the floor of a bedroom with a sloping roof and would wake to all the sounds of the country, especially birds. Water came from a pump across the yard. In the evenings Auntie Peggy took her Pekinese dog walking along lanes on the estate, we thought this was wonderful, so quiet and peaceful.

Having no children, she was very much ‘a seen and not heard’ person. Even so my memories of her are happy ones.

Next I knew, Auntie Peggy was coming to stay with us in London. She was now living in Southsea and wanted to get some new clothes. She and mother enjoyed this rare event. Sadly, this was shortly before she died and I remember the family remark about ‘all those nice clothes’ that she never wore.’

Agnes died on 30th December 1936, aged 54, and Samuel commissioned the window in the North wall of St John’s Church for no special reason other than she had always wanted one. Samuel died on 9th January 1959, at ‘Cuckfield’, Mill Lane, Felbridge, aged 79. They are both buried in grave no. D9. 58, that bears the inscription ‘Beloved wife and guiding star’.

West Window

This is a small window situated to the North of the bell chamber in the West wall of the nave, slightly obscured by a screen that has been erected to hide the heating system. The window depicts a seated Mary holding the baby Jesus. Above Mary’s head are three angels and above them the star of Bethlehem. The dedication reads:
And in loving memory of

Wife of Edward Albert Batt and
Daughter of William & Mary Ridley.

Barbara Batt filia pirvit [Could that be pinxit?]

This window does not have any initials or name of maker, but inscription filia pinxit may mean that Barbara Batt, Mabel’s daughter, executed the design. Who ever the designer was the window is beautifully executed in very rich colours.

Mabel Alice Batt was the second daughter of William and Mary Ridley, who are both buried at St John’s. Her father, William, was born on 6th October 1841, in Belington, Northumberland, whilst her mother, Mary Louisa, was born on 19th May 1844, in London. William was a civil engineer whose work took him and his family abroad. William and Mary had at least three daughters, Dora F, born in London in 1874, Mabel Alice, born in Natal, South Africa, in 1877, and Maude S, born in Wimbledon, Surrey, in 1880. In 1881, the Ridley family were living at 158, Buckingham Palace Road, London, but in later life William and Mary lived at ‘St Wilfrid’s’, London Road, East Grinstead. ‘St Wilfred’s’, originally named ‘Speight’, later became ‘Alipore Lodge’ and then ‘Woodlands’, the Salvation Army home for wayward girls; it is now the site of Dorset Gardens. Mabel married Edward Albert Batt and they had a daughter Barbara who commissioned the window. William Ridley died from ‘St Wilfrid’s’, East Grinstead, on 25th December 1916, aged 75 years. Mary died from ‘Beedswood’, Sanderstead Road, Sanderstead, Surrey, on 25th April 1925, aged 81 years. Their grave slab has an outline of inlaid green enamel and has a raised shield of grey metal with the family crest, set at the head. The crest has a chevron that divides the shield into three parts, each division containing a hawk. Mabel died at Balmoral Hotel, Tunbridge Wells, aged 72 years on 29th May 1949, and her ashes were interred with her parents on 1st June 1949, in grave no. D8. 106-109.

The Church of St John the Divine, Felbridge
Parish Registers of St John the Divine, SHC
The Holy Bible, Oxford University Press for the British and Foreign Bible Society, 1899
The Reader’s Digest Bible
Universal Dictionary
The treasury of Saints & Martyrs by Margaret Mulvihill 1999
The Encyclopedia of Saints by Howard Loxton 1996
Notes of U Lambert 3924/11/57, SHC
Geoffrey Webb, articles from East Grinstead Bulletins nos.16 and 19, FHA
Town Hall, Woolwich,
Kingsley Parish Church,
St Mark’s Anglican Cathedral,
Daresbury Church – Lewis Carroll Window,
Stained Glass Museum,
Charles Eamer Kempe,
Sir Aston Webb,
Parish Magazine, April 1946, FHA
Title Deeds to Clevecote Nurseries, FHA
Documented memories of Agnes Wren by D Harding, FHA
Documented memories of the bomb damage by Mrs Hewitt, FHA

My thanks go to Rev S G Bowen for his advice and additional biblical text references.

SJC 07/02ii