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The Great East Window

THIS MAGNIFICENT five-light window, erected in 1920, is one of the finest examples of the work of the late Dr Douglas Strachan of Edinburgh.

The principal subject, the Crucifixion, occupies the three central lights. Our Lord in his agony hangs upon the Cross. Above, we see Pilate's supersciption I.N.RI. "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews. At the top of the window are flights of doves symbolising the descent of the Holy Spirit. On either side are two angelic figures. On the left the figure of Law, in rose-coloured robes, bears a scroll in his hand. On the right the figure of Love, in pale green, holds a chalice. This central composition, with its background of deep blue sky, is completed by the Roman soldiery and onlookers in brilliant colourings of purple, ruby and gold. In the foreground is the tragic figure of the Mother of our Lord being supported by St John the Divine.

The lights to the extreme left and right illustrate respectively the preaching of St John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus in Jordan. At the top of these lights are the Pelican and the Phoenix, symbolic of self-sacrifice and resurrection.

Overhead, in the tracery of the window, are angelic figures of the Revelation - Faith, Hope and Love.

Stretching across the whole width of the lower part of the window is a moving representation of the Last Supper. The scene in the Upper Room, with its mullioned windows, shows Our Lord seated before a blue drapery, with the disciples on either side. It will be noticed that the betrayer is not present at the Table. The colour scheme of this part of the window is mainly carried out in tones of mother-of-pearl with touches of soft olive green, blue and purple.

The donor of this beautiful window was Miss Eliza McNaughton, in memory of her parents.


From the a publication by the Society of Friends of St John's Kirk

Illustrated Notes on the Stained Glass Windows and the Mediaeval Silver of the Kirk - published in 1956

- with additional photography by Andrew Mitchell -


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