St Barnabas Church provides a great source of encouragement to those who worship here, not only because our Patron Saint is known as the encourager, but also because we are surrounded by other witnesses in our stained glass windows that we are so accustomed to seeing but take for granted. We have the glory of the East Window with its central figure of Christ the King, surrounded by angels; the theme is Te Deum – We Praise Thee O Lord. Jesus also appears in the West Window surrounded by 20 Biblical characters, two of whom also appear in the window in the Prayer Room. It is this West Window that is the more difficult to see and often goes with little more than a glance as we leave the church. We shall have a more detailed look at the characters in it in later articles.
All three windows were designed by Mr Percy Haydon-Bacon, Churchwarden at the time the Church was consecrated in 1929. He and his wife donated the East Window. Mr Bonner the other Churchwarden at the time donated the window in the Prayer Room as a memorial to his son. The West Window, which shows Christ the Consoler, is a memorial to Martha Turner donated by her sister Matilda.
Mr and Mrs Haydon-Bacon lived in Springfield St Luke in Surley Row and there is more stained glass associated with that house which is now in the entrance hall of St Luke’s Residential Home.
Percy Charles Bacon and his twin Charles Percy Bacon were partners in the Percy Bacon Company, based in London, which survived until 1936 and designed and supplied stained glass windows to many churches in the UK and abroad. Research has revealed little more of Percy Haydon-Bacon other than the fact he was a JP and previously lived in Romford. Nevertheless his legacy of a great crowd of witnesses in our stained glass is there to help us to run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12. 1-2).
© Copyright words and pictures Owen Jewiss