St. Giles Window, St. Giles Church, Stanton St. Quintin
The window is a gift from and a celebration of the ministry of the Reverend Frank Day.
The design contains many ideas and themes relating to his life and also to the church building and its patron saint St. Giles. The central focus of the design is the story of St. Giles. He was living a solitary life as a hermit in a cave on the banks of the Rhone. Each day he was visited by a hind whose milk sustained him. One day the King of the Goths was out hunting and followed the hind to the cave of St. Giles. The hermit appeared and standing at its entrance was wounded by an arrow meant for the hind.
Deuteronomy 33.25, which had been a special verse to Frank Day throughout his life, provided a series of ideas.“...as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
The verse is contained within a blessing by Moses on the tribe of Asher. Asher's territory was famous for its olives. Olive oil was used for anointing, setting apart a man for special office – hence too the fact that it became symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
These thoughts link the verse to the dove in the tracery symbolising the Holy Spirit.
The red represents the blood of Christ shed for the sins of the world.
Water is another central theme relating to the River Rhone, to the water of life in Revelation 21.6
“...I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him that is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.”
It also relates to baptism in Mark 1.9&10.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.
As Jesus was coming out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”
In the design the water runs from God – the Alpha and Omega – through the central scenes in both lights and down to where shapes from the Norman font interact with the organ pipes.
The pipe organ was an important part of Frank Day's life as he played and restored them.
The main vertical lines in each light form the shapes of organ pipes and the clear round lenses represent the organ-stops.
Many features of the church form the basis for much of the pattern in the design. The central diamond shapes relate to the tiles on the chancel floor as do the outer border pieces.
The chevron border pattern, big leaf capitals and bases relate to the Norman arches in the nave.
At the heads of the two windows are the badges of the Diocese of Bristol and of Royal Air Force Hullavington to whom Frank was chaplain for eleven years.
From the “heavenly” tracery golden light flows around the badges and is drawn earthwards through the organ pipes. The diagonal lines refer to the feathered arrow flights.
The colours have been chosen in the main to relate to those of the tiles in the chancel.
Location: St.Giles Church, Stanton St. Quintin, Wiltshire