“Extract from the Dundee Courier for Thursday the 8th June 1916.”
The stained glass window scheme of St. Stephen’s Church, Broughty Ferry has just been completed.
This beautiful Gothic Church was built from the design by Mr T.S. Robertson and in the intervening years additions to its devotional character and decorative charm have been made by the erection of stained glass windows from time to time, until, with the filling of the choir windows recently completed, an effect is accomplished which is singularly beautiful and gratifying, both on account of the artistic effect attained and the comprehensive and educational character of the subjects chosen for the portrayal.
These subjects embody very fully the teachings of the Scriptures from the fall of man to the Atonement on the Cross and comprise incidents in the lives of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Eli, Samuel, Ruth, David and Daniel, so leading up to the prophecy as represented by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.
The fulfilment of the prophecy is represented by the “Annunciation” to the Shepherds of the Birth of Christ,” “His Birth,” and “His Adoration.”
Then follow incidents of His life as a child and in manhood. His miracles are illustrated in “Stilling the Waves,” “Walking on the Sea,” and in the miraculous draught of fishes. His crucifixion is shown in the one of the transept windows, and His Ascension in the corresponding window. The Heavenly Host is represented by the Archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel, and by Angels of Praise. The Church being dedicated to the proto-martyr Saint Stephen, one of the principle windows is devoted to a design illustrating his martyrdom, and the window opposite to it is filled with illustrious women of the Bible.
Broughty Ferry is to be congratulated on the possession of a Church which contains so complete and harmonious a series of windows and it is not a little remarkable that in a process which has taken many years to complete no accident or oversight has permitted any incongruity to appear to mar the general effect of a well studied scheme.
Artistically the general good and harmonious result has been secured by the execution of all the windows in the studios of one group of artists, and it is doubtful if there exists any other church concerning which this may be said of its windows, and certainly there is no other church in which all the windows are filled with glass from the designs of the great reformers of this art, William Morris (the Poet-artist) and Burne-Jones. It is more than fifty years since these sincere and gifted men began to concentrate their talents and energies upon the production of work of this kind with a view to reforming the character of ecclesiastical art generally, and so beautiful were the results immediately achieved by them that their work was mistaken for real old glass by connoisseurs.
It is little to be wondered that a church full of glass, the treatment of which was inspired by the highest artistic motives, should be so glorious in its design and colour effect, and this church is fortunate in the possession of some of the earliest of their productions, as well as those of most recent date, and it will be found of interest to compare the first window inserted with those of later dates, and to note how faithfully the tradition of the early work has been maintained.
Such a collection of stained glass cannot fail to have considerable historical value, making as it does a period of revolution the character of the art, which has had universal influence for good of enormous value to all the arts concerned. This will be readily appreciated if windows of the early Victorian times be compared with these examples.
Article from the Dundee Courier 1916