10 April 2023

Morning prayers in Easter
with USPG: (2) 10 April 2023

The Pentecost window by Daniel Bell of Bell and Almond in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Patrick Comerford

The Easter celebrations began yesterday on Easter Day (9 April 2023), ushering in all our hopes and joys.

Today is a public holiday, and traditionally many clergy begin to take a week off today. Even before this day begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer, reflection and reading. In these days of Easter Week, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Short reflections on the stained-glass windows in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

The Baptism of Christ in a window by Henry Holiday of James Powell and Son in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Four stained-glass windows:

Two windows in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton, which I described yesterday, illustrate two Easter themes, the Resurrection and the Supper at Emmaus. Four other windows in the church depict: the Nativity, Christ in the home of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph; the baptism of Christ by Saint John the Baptist; and Pentecost.

The Nativity window at the west end of the north nave wall and is from the 1870s.

The window depicting the young Jesus in the Carpenter’s shop is at the east end of the north nave wall and is dated 1876.

The window depicting the Baptism of Christ is in the north transept and is dated 1876.

The Pentecost window at the west end of the south nave wall is also from the 1870s.

The windows depicting the Nativity, the Carpenter’s Shop and Pentecost are all ascribed to Daniel Bell of the Daniel Bell and Richard Almond Studio.

The stained glass firm and partnership of Daniel Bell and Richard Almond was based in London. Daniel Bell, who was born 1840, was a brother of the better-known Alfred Bell (1832-1895), and worked for his brother’s firm Clayton and Bell before establishing a partnership initially with James Redfern (1838-1876) and Richard Almond (born 1841), and then with Almond alone from 1868.

Daniel Bell worked independently after 1875.

The window depicting the Baptism of Christ is by the artist and stained glass designer Henry George Alexander Holiday (1839-1927) of James Powell and Son. Holiday entered the Royal Academy Schools at the age of 15 and was soon drawn to the ideas, and the artists, of the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

Holiday succeeded Edward Burne-Jones as the chief designer for the stained glass firm James Powell and Sons in 1863. The firm of James Powell and Sons, also known as Whitefriars Glass, were English glassmakers, leadlighters and stained glass window manufacturers. As Whitefriars Glass, the company existed from the 17th century, but became well known as a result of the 19th century Gothic Revival and the demand for stained-glass windows.

Holiday’s style had a long-lasting effect on Powell’s production into the 1920s. Some of his windows were made by Lavers and Barraud and Heaton, Butler and Bayne, and after eventually ending his association with Powells, he established his own workshop in 1890.

From about 1900, Holiday made his own glass at the workshop. His later work was made at the Glass House, Fulham. He also worked as a painter, illustrator and sculptor.

The Nativity window by Daniel Bell of Bell and Almond in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Matthew 28: 8-15 (NRSVA):

8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’

11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, ‘You must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” 14 If this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.

The Carpenter’s Shop depicted in a window by Daniel Bell of Bell and Almond in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Today’s Prayer:

The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘USPG’s Lent Appeal: supporting young mothers affected By HIV.’ This theme was introduced yesterday by USPG’s Fundraising Manager, Rebecca Allin, who reflected on the 2023 Lent Appeal supporting young mothers affected by HIV, and their children.

The prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (10 April 2023, Monday of Easter Week) invites us to pray:

Let us pray for a deepening of our faith. May the light of Easter shine in our hearts, illuminate our minds, and inform our actions.


Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.

Post Communion:

God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

No comments: