I have had the pleasure of carrying out 4 stained and
painted windows over the past 3 years at Alexandria Parish Church, encompassing
different themes, all with the aim of enhancing the building and what it stands
for. In 2011, Liz and Nan Houston spoke
with me about a memorial to Rev. Peter Houston, celebrating his life and
The theme for the window was the seated figure of King David
as a Shepherd, playing a lyre. A river with fish encompasses the figure, and we
introduced features which Peter Houston would have appreciated. An evening sky split with white ‘con’ trails
and devices in the four quadrants of the window. 1)’ Nec Tamen Consumebatur’ 2) Knights
Templar 3) Scouting ‘Fleur de Lys’ and 4) Peter’s BAA Airport Chaplain emblem.
With the success of the Peter Houston window, Iain Galbraith
was fired up, and together we came up with the concept of the Four Seasons
window for the glazed screen at the entrance of the church. A seasons window
must depict the feeling of Spring,
Summer, Autumn and Winter through images and associated colour; hence the
gambolling lambs, cool greens, snow-topped mountains merging into poppies,
sunflowers, then ripe fruit, golden leaves and wheat. Winter is personified
through cold skies, departing geese, stars and snow flurries reinforced by
images of winter and Iain’s faithful ‘Bess’!
In December 2012, the Kirk Session asked me to carry out two
further windows which presented a challenge in commemorating the 50th
Anniversary of the present Alexandria Parish Church building.
In the first anniversary window, I used the image of the
‘River of Life’ weaving through from top to base. A turbulent, ever changing
river as life itself and against this background at the head of the window –
The Lamb of God surmounting the images of four former Alexandria Church buildings
with the present building at the base.
The second ‘Heritage’ window presented a very different
problem in amalgamating past industry with present hopes and aspirations for
the town. At the head of the window the Cross, flanked by ‘Alpha’ and ‘Omega’ symbols
over the ever present loch. Green feathers, images in Turkey Red and checked
woven fabric are reminiscent of the town’s heritage. Smoky chimneys, the
fountain un the main street and the ‘torpedo’ works stand beside Bonhill
Bridge, while finally, the bottom left of the window shows the Red Madder
plant, so vital in the town’s dyeing industry.
Stained Glass Artist