top of page
Shipston Porch Angel Sun.jpg

Porch Angels,

Shipston-on-Stour 2

The Church of Our Lady and St Michael at Shipston on Stour has always been one of Dad’s favourite churches, mainly for its homely, intimate feel. Unsurprisingly, he was very pleased to have been invited back to do another job there in 2000 (the first one was the Pentecost window made in 1980, see previous page).


This time he was asked to design and make two new windows for the porch. The originals had been Victorian painted glass. They had escaped the vandal damage of the 1970s, mainly because they had been protected by dense shrubbery. Sadly however, they were vandalised at a later date and the church broken into.


Dad’s brief was simple: to design and make two replacement windows depicting angels. Angels weren’t really his “thing”, so he asked a couple of fellow stained glass artists, Graham Chaplin and Pat Follows, if they’d be willing to help. Pat sketched him a couple of angels in black and white, which Dad interpreted in his own way.


The windows are portrait in format, long and thin, so allow for full length angels. Photos of the whole windows can be seen at the bottom of this page but the two main images are close ups of their heads and upper bodies. One is holding the sun, the other, the moon, representing day and night. The idea was loosely based on one of the motifs in St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures in which he praises and gives thanks to the Lord for “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”. When I asked Dad why this motif for the angels he shrugged, grinned and said, “It just seemed like a good idea.” So there is nothing particularly deep and meaningful in these windows!

One of the things I love about them is the way that, in certain conditions, light seems to emanate from the sun and moon, held in the hands of the angels, illuminating their faces. This effect is captured perfectly in the two main photographs of the windows. Also, there is a lovely warmth to the sun window and a coolness to the colours in the moon one.


Over the years, my parents have tended to have their own Christmas cards printed, which have often featured Dad’s windows. These angels are perfect Christmas card material so naturally they have both featured on their cards, the moon angel in 2006 and the sun angel in 2012.

Stained glass window of angel holding moon, Church of Our Lady and St Michael, Shipston-on-Stour
bottom of page