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Updated: 18 December, 2012
The Parish Church of
St Matthew Oxhey
Fr David Shepherd
The Shepherd, simple and humble both in nature and station, accepting without question
or afterthought a New Beauty as, simply and humbly, he accepts the beauty of the
flowers he kneels among. There is no difficulty here; he is accustomed to "miracles".
He has attained wisdom otherwise than by treacherous, tortuous and well nigh interminable
paths of knowledge.
Not so the King, the learned man. He was a much later arrival and for many good reasons.
Power - his crown and kingship
Pride - the peacock's "eye" embroidered on his shoulder
Wealth - his rich clothing
all these and many other things, weighed him down on his journey. He looks long and
searchingly at the "miracle" - satisfying himself, as he is used to do, by means
of the outward eye. The triumph of Humility still tries his understanding.
Behind the King stands Michael the Archangel "Standard bearer of the Hosts of Christ",
an idea to be associated with what I have said of the King.
the Archangel Gabriel, carrying the lily and crowned with hedge roses, may be associated
with the Shepherd.
The Water of Life springs out beneath and the Rosebush growing there may suggest
blossoming of any simple virtues the beholder may please.
The significance of the Red Cross appearing in the ray of light from the star at
the window's apex should not be too hard to guess at.
The Nativity Window
The Artist Karl Parsons (1884-1934)
Explains Its Symbolism
From Oxhey Church Magazine May, 1916
The ideas conveyed by the window are not and could not be capable of anything approaching
full expression in terms of language. The matter rests ultimately with the perspective
and receptive capacity of the spectator. The window may be called a "Nativity Window",
but the point of view is a contemplative one and there is no attempt at the realistic
presentation of an historical event.
Inventory of All Stained Glass
With a few exceptions, the windows in the north and south aisles relate to the miracles
and parables in St Matthew's Gospel. Concealed in The Lady Chapel is a most beautiful
window of The Nativity by Karl Parsons. Otherwise the windows are not of great quality,
their narrowness giving little artistic scope. Clockwise from the north west door
LocationSubject and description
North aisle 1 Jesus walking on the water. In memory of Ralph Reginald Smyth Jones
(1885-1912) who died in Bombay.
North aisle 2 Depicts St Cecilia. A memorial of the 1914-18 War from the Girl's Guild
of St Cecilia.
North aisle 3 The risen Christ. In memory of Noel Montague Charles Dudley (1897-1916),
killed on the Somme.
North aisle 4 Plain
North aisle 5 The parable of the lost sheep. In memory of Florence Mabel Tripp, who
died aged 4 years.
North aisle 6 The Sunday School window of Jesus calming the sea. Dedicated 1898.
Apse (N S) St Mark (north apse) St Luke (south apse). In memory of Robert Savill,
Apse St Matthew and St John. September 1887, in memory of William Arthur Tooke
Centre apse Christ the Good Shepherd.
Lady Chapel The Crucifixion. Tribute to Rev'd Newton Price
South aisle 1 The Nativity by Karl Parsons (1884-1934).
South aisle 2 and 3 The parables of the Sower and of the Hidden Treasure. These two
are in memory of Canon Townshend and his sister, who helped the church in its early
South aisle 4 The parable of the Dragnet. In memory of Elizabeth Harrison and son
South aisle 5 The parable of the Talents. In memory of W Hounsfield of Oxhey Hall.
South aisle 6 and 7 The baptism of Jesus and Jesus blessing the children. In memory
of David Carnegie of Eastbury House.
West Wall Moses before the burning bush. In memory of Catherine Savill.
The King with the peacock’s ‘eye’ on his shoulder.
For more information about the Life and Work of Karl Parsons, see Gordon Lawson’s
articles on Wikipedia: