St. Wilfred and St. John Berchmans, and the Presentation of our Lady in the Temple was originally made for the Lady Chapel, Convent of Notre Dame, Dowanhill, Glasgow in 1927. It was one of two lancets originally intended as war memorials by Sister Superior Mary of St. Wilfrid, Principal of Dowanhill Training College. Due to Sister Wilfrid’s sudden death and Harry’s illness, the St. Wilfrid window was not completed until January 1927. The Glasgow University Catholic Women's Association decided to dedicate the St. Wilfrid lancet to her memory. Before the window was completed Sister Wilfrid's successor, Sister Mary Berchmans, died suddenly. The window’s design was amended to include St. John Berchmans in Sister Mary’s honour (Bowe in Christies website: Lot 80/Sale 5956).
In 1979 the window was moved from Dowanhill to Notre Dame College of Education, Bearstead, and then to Chapel Studio, King's Langley, Hertfordshire (The Stained Glass website). It was purchased at Christies of London by the Stained Glass Museum on May 22nd, 1998, for £43,300.
The top panels of the window depict a dark-haired angel in silver and lilac robes. In the main panels, St. Wilfred and St. John Berchmans are depicted. St. John Berchmans is portrayed in a black habit, denoting his dedication to the Society of Jesus.
St. Wilfred, Bishop of York in the seventh century, is portrayed in profile, wearing a sumptuous purple cloak embroidered with gold and amber motifs. The lower panel depicts the presentation of our Lady in the temple.
Bowe in Christies website: Lot 80/Sale 5956
The Stained Glass Museum Website
Data for caption: The dimensions of the window are 102 x 21 x 2 in. / 259 x 53.4 x 5 cm
Photo Credits © The Stained Glass Museum
Text Lucy Costigan 2009