Windows of St Margaret’s

Windows of St Margaret’s

There are eighteen windows in the church of various sizes and architectural styles; ten are glazed with plain glass, the rest (facing east and south) contain designs in coloured glass most of which date from the Victorian period.

No medieval glass survives and it is highly unlikely that any original stonework can be found either.

The newest window and the first new stained glass window for over 60 years is in the Chancel.

The window was installed at St Margaret’s in October 2014 in memory of Captain Daniel Read from Rainham who was killed in Afghanistan whilst trying to defuse an improvised device. Daniel was born in Kent and attended the local school, He was 31 years old when he died.

The window was designed and installed by Shelly Kitto from Rochester and is the first new window in this Grade I listed building since 1946.

The window depicts the ammunitions technical officer emblem to represent his role in the Army, the badge of 11 EOD Regiment, in which he was serving when he died, and “ubique”, the motto of the Royal Engineers, in which he served when he joined the Armed Forces. It also includes a dove as a symbol of peace, Remembrance poppies and mountains to represent his love of climbing.
Capt. Read’s family, his former school, Rainham Mark Grammar, Southern Water, family friends and complete strangers all helped raise the money for the window.

The window was blessed by Revd. Judy Henning at the family Communion Service on 2nd November 2014.

The Chancel
In 1897 a faculty was granted to the Rev. Charles Cobb, Vicar, and Messrs. S.J.Brice and J.A.Walter, Churchwardens, to erect a stained glass window at the east end of the chancel to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).This is the window we see today and in it a representation of the Ascension of Christ. In the quatrefoils at the top are the words ‘He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty’ Lower down we read ‘Ye men of Galilee why stand gazing into heaven: this same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven’ and at the bottom ‘In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you’ Under this is the caption ‘To glorify him by whom Kings reign and in thankful commemoration of the sixty years beneficent rule of Queen Victoria we dedicate this AD 1897’ It was made by Messrs. Ward and Hughes, stained glass painters and cost £153-0s-6d. the money coming from public donations.

The tracery in this window is early Perpendicular in style dating from the 15th.C. and was completely renewed, using Savonnieres stone, in 1983.A small plaque on the wall just to the right of the window has this inscription ‘This window was restored in loving memory of Jack Clark 1910-1980 by his wife Pauline.

The oldest visible part of the present building is the south wall arcading of the 13th.C. chancel which is built in the Early English style. Originally a lancet (a slender pointed-arched window) would have been set within each of the four chamfered arches, but only one remains.

In it is portrayed St. Margaret of Antioch the Church’s patron saint. The following description of this window has been taken from a Parish Magazine of 1871 ‘She [St.Margaret] is usually represented bearing a palm branch in her hand and treading a dragon beneath her feet. As the word ‘Margaret’ means a pearl, her dress is often adorned with pearls and sometimes also ornamented with daises, which in French are called ‘Marguerites’. These points are all brought out in the small stained window lately placed in the chancel of Rainham Church by Messrs. Lavers, Barraud and Westlake of Endell Street, Bloomsbury, and given by Mrs.Pearman from the proceeds of her work’

The westernmost window of the four in the wall arcade on the southern side has two lights: in one is depicted the figure of St.James, and in the other St. John, holding an open book in his hands.(1) Both are of coloured glass made by Messrs. Lavers. This window was also given by Mrs.Pearman and fitted in 1876.The tracery is in the Perpendicular style (15th C).

The stained glass of the south-east window (behind the pulpit) was made by Messrs. Hardman stained glass manufacturers of Birmingham and London. Mrs. Walter gave it in 1871 as a memorial of her parents. Here is the description of this window as given in the Parish Magazine of 1871 ‘ …and represents in one compartment Cornelius giving alms, (Acts.x.2), and the other Dorcas distributing the coats and garments which she has made (Acts.ix.39). Beneath are the words, designed to connect faith and works-‘ Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.’
At the foot of the window is the inscription- ‘In memory of Thomas Taylor, of Berengrave, Esq., who died 7th. August, 1839, aged 68 years; also of Betsy, his wife, who died 8th. April, 1864, aged 79 years’.

Along the south wall of the nave we see three windows all commemorating people associated with Rainham in the past.

The smallest (that nearest to the pulpit) is a stained glass window with this inscription ‘To the Glory of God and to the honoured memory of John Mainwaring Tamplin Vicar of Rainham 1908-1922’(3) It was made by Messrs. Ward and Hughes Stained Glass Painters of London and dedicated by the Rural Dean of Sittingbourne, the Rev.A.P.McNeile on 19th. August 1923.
The Parochial Church Council raised a total of £108-4s-3d and as the overall cost of the window was £94-4s-3d ‘The balance of £14 was given to Mrs.Tamplin as a gift from the subscribers and a little testament of their affection’
The glass makers described it as ‘A two light window, easternmost in the south aisle, in which is represented the theme of St. John the Evangelist preaching to the various social grades and ages, words of the Gospel of Life. The Composition being framed by canopies and bases of a late Perpendicular period of architectural character, with appropriate texts and dedicatory sentence. In the tracery a choir of cherubs,….’ This inscription can be found at the bottom of the right hand light: ‘These things I command you that ye love one another’

To continue along the Nave:
In addition to the ‘Tamplin’ memorial window in the south wall of the nave there are two other stained glass windows, with identical tracery, one each side of the South Door.

On the wall below the easternmost one is a tablet bearing this inscription: ‘To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Solomon John Brice who died October 25th 1904 aged 72 and Georgina Clarinda Brice his wife who died January 14th 1912 aged 77. The above window is dedicated’
At the bottom of the left hand light of this window are the words ‘Feed my Lambs’ and in the other ‘Feed my Sheep’ In the quatrefoil at the top are the words ‘O all ye Fowls of the Air Bless ye the Lord, Praise Him and Magnify Him for Ever’ In an earlier guide to the Church it says The rural scenes and game birds of the Brice window commemorate a parishioner whose favourite sport was shooting’.

The other window in the south wall is of stained glass and has two lights. At the bottom of the left hand one is the inscription: ‘To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Charles John Smart born Dec.24th. 1816 died June 18th. 1901’ and in the right hand one: ‘And of Elizabeth his wife born August 6th. 1819 died Feb. 9th. 1880. This window is erected by their only child’

The tracery of the west window in the tower is Perpendicular in style and identical in design to the east window of the chancel at the opposite end of the church. Each has three lights but the glass is plain in the west window

The North Aisle
there is a variety of architectural styles to be seen in the four windows of this part of the building. All are fitted with plain glass. Two have identical tracery of the decorated period of Gothic architecture.

In the north wall one can see how one of the three original window openings was altered to accommodate the insertion of a late Perpendicular one. The top of the earlier arch was left in situ and was discovered in the restoration of the 1920’s. All are glazed with plain glass.

The North Chapel (usually called the Lady Chapel or the Tufton Chapel)

On passing through the screen from the aisle into the Chapel the beauty of the modern east window immediately becomes apparent. This can be seen not only in the designs and colours of the subjects depicted in glass but in the flowing lines of the stonework as well. The tracery, in Clipsham stone, was installed in 1952 and is in the Decorated style which developed originally in the 14thC

The glass, which was designed by Francis Spear, was not fitted until 1953 and unfortunately almost obscured by the organ. It was not until the organ works were moved to the back of the church a year or two later that the window could be seen to full advantage. In each of the four lights there is depicted one of the parables told by Jesus, namely; the rich man and Lazarus the poor man, the Good Samaritan, the Sower and the Talents.

The caption at the foot of the window reads ‘This window was given by George and Enid Ward of Caldew House in this parish in thankfulness for the safe return of their sons Denis and Geoffrey from the World War 1939-1945 and for many other mercies’.

In the north wall one can see how one of the three original window openings was altered to accommodate the insertion of a late Perpendicular one. The top of the earlier arch was left in situ and was discovered in the restoration of the 1920’s. All are glazed with plain glass.

In the north wall one can see how one of the three original window openings was altered to accommodate the insertion of a late Perpendicular one. The top of the earlier arch was left in situ and was discovered in the restoration of the 1920’s. All are glazed with plain glass.

Lost Glass 
At the turn of the eighteenth-nineteenth century Thomas Fisher, F.S.A. visited many churches and made drawings of what he saw. His subjects included brasses and painted glass. Among his collection is a drawing of one of the quatrefoils in the tracery of the east window of St.Margaret’s Church showing an heraldic shield bearing the arms of Robert de Crevequer the founder of Leeds Priory to which he gave the advowson of this church. It is held by an angel (whose head is missing) in white and stain. The background of the light is blue.
This shield is also recorded in ‘A Book of Church Notes’ by John Philipot, Somerset Herald, compiled in the early part of the seventeenth century. Among other shields he saw in the windows ‘In Raineham Church by Newington’ were those of Donet. (The Donet family were of Sileham, in this parish, and the last of them in the male line, James, died in 1409, leaving a daughter and heir, Margery, married to John St. Leger of Ulcombe), and one which was probably the arms of the Augustinian Priory of Cumbwell, in Goudhurst.

Most of the text above is from The History of Rainham and the Church articles published in “Sunburst” during the period 2001-2008 and written by Eric Cross.


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