Monday, 12 September 2016

The most complete set of illuminated windows in the colonies: Clayton & Bell at Ellerslie

Alfred Bell (1832-1895) for Clayton and Bell, Predella detail of [The ascendant Christ] (1884). The central red escutcheon is emblazoned
with a paschal lamb and banner proclaiming victory over death.
Christ Church, Ellerslie, gift of Alfred Bell, 1885
Courtesy of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington. Photograph: Luke Carpenter
In a memoir of his time in New Zealand, William Garden Cowie (1831-1902), the first Anglican bishop of Auckland (1869-1902), recorded a ride 'to Christ Church, Ellerslie, another of our beautiful suburbs'. Describing the church as 'a very small building of wood, like most of our Auckland churches', he noted it was 'adorned with a series of painted windows, the gift of Mr Alfred Bell, of the well-known firm of Clayton and Bell, through his old friend Mr Albin Martin, a resident in the district.'  <W Cowie, Our last year in New Zealand 1887 (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench , 1888), pp. 5-6>. Cowie was far from being the only contemporaneous visitor to the church to note the windows, but he was probably the most impressed; certainly no other church in his diocese was so spectacularly illuminated.

Installed in Christ Church in January 1885, the gift by the stained glass artist Alfred Bell (1832-1895) of thirteen stained and painted glass windows (comprising thirty lights) is now the most significant surviving set of English gothic revival stained glass windows to be found in New Zealand. Not only were they designed by Bell specifically for the newly erected church – it was dedicated on 22 December 1883 – but they were also a personal acknowledgement of the role the artist Albin Martin (1813-1888) played in catalysing Bell's career as both one of the nineteenth-century's more pre-eminent designers of stained and painted glass and co-owner of Clayton and Bell, at the time probably the most prominent stained glass workshop in England. The circumstances of how the windows arrived in New Zealand are intriguing not only for the personal connections they reveal but also in the way they demonstrate how art and design was deployed to integrate the frontier settlement of New Zealand into the cultural hegemony of empire.
James D Richardson, Exterior of Christ Church, Ellerslie (1928)
George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries (4-4121)
The decision to construct a church in the recently developed, semi-rural, suburb of Ellerslie was made in 1881 when the Anglican diocese of Auckland acquired land – partially by gift – on Bella Street (now Ladies Mile) <Pamela Stone, With memories filled: a history of the parish of Ellerslie ([Auckland: the church, 1983]), p. 4>. It was the second church to manifest in the suburb and was financed and built by local parishioners at a cost of £600 (the equivalent of $108,500 today), a decade after the opening of the Auckland to Mercer railway line that had encouraged the formation of what was one of Auckland's first railway suburbs.

The church was designed by the Irish-born civil engineer, surveyor and erstwhile architect Robert McFarland (1832-1901) in what was described as the 'Early English' style; a more contemporary classification would be Antipodean gothic revival. It was not McFarland's first church. In 1868 he had designed the first, neo-classical, iteration of St James Presbyterian church in Thames (it survives as the church hall) and in 1876 he devised his first gothic revival structure, the Thames Congregational Church, which also survives – albeit in mutilated form – as the Thames Baptist Church. Neither church now acknowledges McFarland's role as architect.
Unidentified photographer, Congregational Church, Thames (1902)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand 
In all probability the designs of both of McFarland's gothic revival churches, with their pointed arches, lancet windows, false buttresses and steeply pitched roofs, were taken from, as yet, unidentified pattern books. As Jonathan Mane-Wheoki points out, the Anglican diocese of Auckland had an extensive library of architectural books, most of them collected by George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878), first – and only – Anglican bishop of New Zealand – and most, if not all, reflected his distinct preference for 'the original, true style' of the gothic revival. <J Mane-Wheoki, 'Selwyn the ecclesiologist – in theory and practice', in A K Davidson, ed, A controversial churchman (Wellington: Brigid Williams Books, 2011, 128-145, p. 137>. Selwyn's espousal of the gothic revival not only  influenced colonial ecclesiastical architecture but was also ubiquitous and lingering. As Bill McKay notes in his recent history of New Zealand church design, 'Perhaps because of the number and familiarity of Gothic Revival churches in New Zealand, large and small, we think this is the natural style of church architecture' <W McKay, Worship: a history of New Zealand church design (Auckland: Godwit, 2015), p. 187>.

As G A Bremner observes, colonial bishops deployed architecture not only to exert discipline on their sometimes wayward communities but also 'to enhance the physical presence of the Church, thus asserting both its dignity and identity' in an increasingly pluralist religious world. Christ Church was one of a number of substantial – if spatially and decoratively modest – timber built Antipodean gothic revival churches erected during Cowie's time as bishop. These included St George's, Thames (Edward Mahoney, 1872),  St Luke's, Mount Albert (Pierre Burrows, 1872-1883), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Khyber Pass (Edward Mahoney, 1880-1881), Christ Church, Kihikihi (Philip Walsh, 1881), St Jude's, Avondale (Edward Bartley, 1884) and St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Parnell (Benjamin Mountfort, 1884-1898).
James D Richardson, Interior of Christ Church, Ellerslie (1928). The church's original internal configuration, with the congregation facing east and the altar raised to ensure visibility, conformed to ecclesiological principles.
George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries (4-4125)
Christ Church was distinguished from the other churches by what a nineteenth century reporter described as 'a share of luck that rarely falls to a colonial church'. Newly resident in Ellerslie, Albin Martin was a member of building committee formed to oversee the construction of the church. He was not only an artist but also a sometime farmer and politician. Martin, who migrated to New Zealand in order to farm in 1851, was the son and brother of Anglican clergymen who, from the age of 16, lived in the Dorset village of Silton where his father, Harry (1772-1832), was rector of the parish. In March 1833 he followed his elder brother – another Harry (1812-1864) – to Cambridge where he matriculated at Jesus College. Unlike his brother he abandoned his studies and in 1834 became a pupil of the landscape painter John Linnell (1792-1882) in London <Una Platts 'Albin Martin 1813-1888', in Albin Martin (Auckland: Auckland City Art Gallery, 1988), p. 9>. Una Platts speculates that Martin's decision to forswear Cambridge was prompted by his coming into money, an assertion supported by entries in the British censuses for 1841 and 1851 where he is described as being of independent means and as a landed proprietor, residing in Silton.
John Linnell (1792-1882), Portrait of Albin Martin (1835).
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki on loan from a private collection (L1940/1/2)
Between 1834 and 1851 Martin spent much of his time in London and Italy but his family retained their connections with Silton. In the 1841 census, the Rev Harry Martin is recorded as being in residence there with his wife Anne, two female and one male servants, along with a guest and her son; as there is no other clerical listing for the parish this suggests that Harry Martin was acting as its curate and thus responsible for the care of the aged, infirm and poor. In the same census an eight year old boy, Alfred Bell, is recorded, along with his father, Jeremiah – an agricultural labourer, his mother, Leah, and two brothers. Bell's great grandson, Peter Larkworthy, suggests it was Harry Martin 'a man of discernment and an accomplished amateur artist' who was responsible for promoting Bell's talents, but this account ignores the substantial reality of Bell's gift of the glass to Christ Church and Albin's two accounts of the connection, of which Larkworthy was, apparently, unaware <Peter Larkworthy, Clayton and Bell, stained glass artists and decorators (London: Ecclesiological Society, 1984), p. 6>. It is evident though that sometime between 1841 and 1851, despite long absences in Italy and London, Albin Martin, probably through his brother, encountered and instructed the young Bell. Forty years later Martin recalled that
[He] had recently returned to England from Italy [possibly in July 1844], many years before he came to Auckland, [when] he met, on visiting a friend's house, a little boy whose aptitude for drawing attracted his attention. The boy was poor, but [he], thinking there was something in the lad, gave him lessons in the art of drawing and painting. The boy, whose name was Alfred Bell, progressed with such rapidity that Mr Martin was fairly astonished and [...] resolved to do what he could to give the young lad a push.
In another account published in the Auckland-based Church Gazette in March 1885 Martin was more specific in his description of how he and his brother promoted Bell's talent, he allowed it was Harry who effected Bell's critical encounter in 1847 with the architect George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878) then completing a church near Silton, St Martins (1842-44) at Zeals <A Martin, 'The donor of the Ellerslie windows', Church Gazette (2 March 1885), pp. 27-28>. Martin recalled how he later visited Scott's studio 'to see how young Bell was getting on and to thank Sir Gilbert for taking him into his office; but Sir Gilbert said that so far from any thanks being due to him, he had to thank me for sending him a youth possessed of such power of drawing.'

Scott, like the Martins, had a clerical background, was a convinced mediaevalist and, arguably, the pre-eminent English architect of the age with over eight hundred projects credited to his practice including the Foreign and Colonial Office in Whitehall (1861), St Pancras Station and its associated Midland Hotel (1865), the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park (1872) and, not least, a series of schemes for Christ Church cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand (1858-1873), later adapted by the New Zealand-resident architect Benjamin Mountfort (1825-1898). Scott was evidently impressed by Bell, recalling that 'His productions at that early age were most remarkable, and, during the whole time he was with me, nothing he had to do seemed to present any difficulty whatever to him.'<G G Scott, Personal and professional recollections, ed by G G Scott jnr ([London]: Sampson, Low, 1879), pp. 217-224>. Bell's work as a designer of mosaics, murals and stained and painted glass featured prominently in Scott's projects, both during and after his time in his studio.
Unidentified photographer, Alfred Bell [about 1880?].
From Peter Larkworthy, Clayton and Bell, stained glass artists and decorators (London: Ecclesiological Society, 1984)
It was in Scott's studio that Alfred Bell met John Richard Clayton (1827-1913) who joined it around 1850. Clayton, who had trained at the Royal Academy Schools as a sculptor, had been a pupil of Anthony Salvin (1799-1881), reputed for his work as a repairer of medieval buildings rather than a builder of new. Bell and Clayton began designing stained and painted glass for Scott's projects in accordance with his preference for the English geometrical decorated gothic style as promoted by the Cambridge Camden Society in its journal The Ecclesiologist. In keeping with their status as architects, their early designs were produced by other London glassmakers: Heaton & Butler, James Powell & Sons and Lavers and Barraud but, in 1855, with Scott's encouragement, they established their own workshop at 311 Regent Street in London's West End.

Clayton and Bell succeeded in their enterprise both for the quality of their workmanship and the popularity of their designs. Reviewing a now destroyed window in Westminster Abbey, the Tractarians at The Ecclesiologist declared its lights to be 'an epoch in glass painting, from their size, their merit and their locality.' <Ecclesiologist, vol. 9 (1858), p. 41>. By the end of the 1860s they allegedly had some three hundred employees; they also expanded their repertoire. In collaboration with the Anglo-Italian glass factory Salviati & Co (established in 1866) they produced glass mosaics, the best known of which are those on Scott's Albert Memorial. They also exported widely: Clayton and Bell supplied the extraordinary set of fourteen stained and painted glass windows (124 lights) commemorating great scholars for the Great Hall of the University of Sydney (Edmund Blackett, 1858); it seems likely that this set of windows was the first secular cycle produced during during the nineteenth century revival of the technique.

New Zealand – particularly the Anglican-driven settlement of Christchurch – was the destination of a number of Clayton and Bell windows. In her catalogue raisonné of the stained glass windows of Canterbury, Fiona Ciaran identifies thirty from Clayton and Bell. <Fiona Ciaran, Stained glass windows of Canterbury, New Zealand (Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1998), p. 218>. In numerical terms the firm wasn't the most popular; other London makers, Powells and Lavers and Barraud, held that distinction. Explaining this relatively low ranking for Clayton and Bell works, Ciaran cites the animus of the chapter of Christ Church cathedral who, in 1881, dismissed the firm notwithstanding its association with the building's original architect. It's unclear what caused this rupture but the chapter accused the firm of 'negligence' in carrying out the commission. However it seems that Clayton and Bell's apparent tardiness was due more to the imprecise nature of Mountfort's instructions rather than a disinterest in the commission <Ciaran, p. 113>. Nonetheless, Clayton and Bell produced three of the cathedral's 17 windows including – for the reduced sum of £200 – its now destroyed decafoil rose window, The lamb of God and the hierarchy of angels (after a design by Mountfort, c. 1881-82) <Ciaran, pp.111-112>. Added to this, a sense that Clayton and Bell windows were perceived as unfashionable may also have been a consideration. Martin Harrison observes that by the 1860s the design of Clayton and Bell windows were becoming formulaic; their tones were increasingly harder and metallic and the purist Gothic Revival was being supplanted by the less rigorously mediaevalist arts and crafts style espoused by the like of, the increasingly fashionable, William Morris.
Clayton and Bell after Benjamin Mountfort (1825-1898), The lamb of God and the hierarchy of angels (about 1881). The now destroyed decafoil rose window in Christ Church cathedral, Christchurch. Mountfort's design of the window was based on that of Christ Church, Oxford.
www.flickriver.com
Again, through Scott, Clayton and Bell had other New Zealand connections. From the firm's point of view, probably the most important were the stained and painted glass windows installed by George Selwyn in the 'unsightly' chapel he had built for his bishop's palace following his translation from New Zealand to Lichfield in 1869 <A B Clifton, The cathedral church of Lichfield (London: George Bell, 1900), p. 34>. One of the windows alludes both to the alleged life-saving actions of Hēnare Wiremu Taratoa at Gate Pā and, with its three gold stars on a blue ground, to the heraldic achievement of the Anglican diocese of New Zealand, arms later assumed by the Auckland diocese. Clayton and Bell were also responsible for the west window (1869) and the mural decoration surrounding Selwyn's tomb in the lady chapel of Lichfield Cathedral.

It's possible that Bell's gift to the Ellerslie church was an attempt at rehabilitating Clayton and Bell's reputation amongst the Anglican community in New Zealand following the fiasco in Christchurch, however the reported circumstances surrounding the gift suggest otherwise. In an interview Martin gave around the time of the donation, he asserted he had written 'to his old pupil to learn whether any pieces of painted glass could be obtained cheap'. Bell's response was to request the patterns of the windows and it seems that he was sent the architectural drawings for the church, enabling him to not only ensure appropriate dimensions for his glass but also to conceive of an appropriate narrative programme. In October 1884 Clayton and Bell despatched the set of windows to Auckland on the SS Coptic; unfortunately the ship was diverted to Wellington from whence they were forwarded arriving in the third week of December; they were installed in early January under the supervision of John Lorraine Holland (1839-1917) late of the local decorating firm Holland and Butler.They were first exposed to public scrutiny on 17 January 1885.

In September 1884 Bell wrote to Martin advising him of the imminent despatch of the windows, enclosing a diagram indicating the placement of the windows and explaining he had 'taken upon me to treat the whole series of windows thus securing a certain rhythm and unity throughout not otherwise easy to obtain'. As a new built church, Bell, as designer of its most prominent decorative feature, could conceive of it as a tabula rasa. He described the programmatic cycle as 'illustrating the attributes of Christ and the general character of His mission on Earth', noting however that 'As I have avoided for the most part the an historical aspect of Our Lord's life there remains abundant material [for others] to work on' <Christ Church Archives, Letter from Alfred Bell to Albin Martin, 24 September 1884>. Bell's concern that others would object to the completeness of his contribution to the decoration of the church were groundless.
Alfred Bell (1832-1895) for Clayton and Bell, S Matthew; S Mark: S Luke: S John (1884). Christ Church, Ellerslie, gift of Alfred Bell, 1885
Courtesy of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington. Photograph: Luke Carpenter
The narrative Bell developed reflected the beliefs promulgated by the Oxford Reform Movement of the Church of England and adopted by followers of the Cambridge Camden Society (later the Ecclesiological Society) as to how the Christian faith should be manifest to its adherents. The set of thirteen windows is comprised of thirty lights and organised in three sections: the west end or baptistery; the nave; and the chancel or sanctuary. The cycle is initiated in the eighteen light western window that depicts the teachings of Christ made known by the evangelists, Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John who are shown in four geometrically traceried lancet windows, the two central panels surmounted by a pentagram-traceried roundel within an arched timber moulding, the points of the pentagram symbolising the five wounds of Christ. 
Alfred Bell (1832-1895) for Clayton and Bell, I am the light of the world (1884). The text is from John 8.12, which recounts Christ's sermon on the Mount of Olives.
Christ Church, Ellerslie, gift of Alfred Bell, 1885.
Courtesy of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington. Photograph Luke Carpenter.

The nine lancet windows flanking the nave – in ecclesiological terms, ‘the Church Militant’ – depict events in the life of Christ as recounted by the evangelists: ‘Emanuel God with us’ (Matthew 2.1, the nativity); ‘This is my beloved son’ (Matthew 3.17, the baptism); ‘Ye must be born again’ (John 3.7, encounter with Nicodemus); ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ (John 11.25, meeting with Martha); ‘I am the good shepherd’ (John 10.11); ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8.12, sermon on the mount of Olives); ‘I ascend unto my father and your father’ (John 20.17, Mary Magdalene at the tomb); ‘I that speak unto thee am he’ (John 4.26, meeting with the woman of Samaria); and ‘Of such is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 19.14, blessing the little children). 
Alfred Bell (1832-1895) for Clayton and Bell, Christ is risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept (1884). The running text is from the epistle of Paul the apostle 1 Corinthians 15.20 (1884). The figures depict (from left to right, Saints Peter and John, Christ ascendant and the two Marys. Christ Church, Ellerslie, gift of Alfred Bell, 1885
Courtesy of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington. Photograph: Luke Carpenter
The principal window in the former chancel – the part of the church representative of ‘the Church Triumphant’ in the symbolism of the ecclesiologists – is comprised of three elaborately decorated lancet lights, with elaborately painted canopies and a running text quote from I Corinthians 15.20 – ‘Christ is risen from the dead’ (Saints Peter and John); ‘And become the first fruits’ (Christ ascendant); and ‘Of them that slept’ (The two Marys). The chancel lights were originally flanked by two smaller lancet windows – ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6.35) and ‘I am the true vine’ (John 15.1). This sub-set celebrates the ritual of holy communion. Appropriately for the most sacred space in the church and the focal point of worship, these windows are most richly decorated and the three central lights are the only windows in the set with elaborately painted predellas of escutcheons depicting: a pelican and her piety, symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice; an apostolic lamb, symbolic of Christ’s victory over death; and a lion guardant and haloed, symbolic of the majesty of Christ’s victory. To emphasis their liturgical significance and to reiterate the unifying concept of the Trinity, the three lights are set within a tripartite moulded architrave supported by four roseate corbels.

Given his involvement in devising their theme, his personal connection with Martin – the mediator of the gift – and the assuredness of the painting, it is highly likely that Bell was responsible for more than just supervising a sketch of the designs, a procedure that appears to have been the convention at Clayton and Bell at this stage of its history <Ciaran, p. 196>. Unlike much of the stained glass of the period, the imagery does not appear to have been based on the work of other artists, although the figures exhibit the stillness and flat colouring associated with the Nazarene movement. Harrison notes that 'Bell's forte was always said to be architectural canopy-work <Harrison, p. 31> and such canopies feature in those windows intended for the chancel – the three traceried lights forming the east window and the two windows 'The true vine' and 'The bread of life' intended to flank the east window –  as well as on the four major lights of the eighteen depicting the Evangelists of the west window. Both the chancel and west windows resonate with the heavy blues and reds that characterise the firms later work.

By contrast, the lights of the nave windows have been designed to provide sufficient daylight for a darkened space with the narrative image confined to a central rectangular panel delicately painted in the flat planes. Each window is framed by a band of undulating vines around diamond patterned leading. These are painted with an alternating pattern of stylised flowering campions and laurel-like leaves. The windows have their identifying texts painted along their bases.

 Alfred Bell (1832-1895) for Clayton and Bell, I am the bread of life and I am the true vine (1884). Bell intended the windows to flank the altarpiece, 
emphasising the dignity of the sanctuary and the significance of the ritual of holy communion. The texts are from John 6.35 and John 15.1. 
Christ Church, Ellerslie, gift of Alfred Bell, 1885 
Courtesy of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington. Photograph: Luke Carpenter

Reporting on the installation of the windows, the New Zealand Herald speculated that they were 'worth considerably over £1000' (in today's terms $182,500), that is more than the cost of erecting the building. While the Herald's conjecture was probably hyperbolic, it reflects the impact the windows had on viewers. Another report effused that 'The light of the day as it shines through the painted glass becomes so rich and mellowed that we may fancy it to be an earthly resemblance to that heavenly light which shall cast its rays on faster, emerald, and ruby of greatest lustre'. All reports agreed with the Auckland Star's assertion the gift would 'render [Christ Church] the most attractive little tabernacle in the colony.' At a service to commemorate the installation of the windows, The Cambridge-educated Cowie observed 'in the matter of adorning her houses of prayer, the Church of England has been returning during the last thirty years to the point which our forefathers had reached four hundred years ago'. This architectural hiatus, he opined, was due to the malign influence of 'the Bishop of Rome' on the English peoples and the emergence of a society that asserted 'Architecture and painting and sculpture were supposed to be of the earth, earthy; and not to be cultivated as handmaids of religion.'

But for all the enthusiasm displayed by the clergy, congregants and reporters in 1885, the miracle of surviving a fire in 1928, and the best efforts of generations of churchwardens to preserve its features, the church and its windows have fallen into obscurity. This is not just the result of an increasingly secularised society that has prompted a falling off in religious adherence and a concomitant loss of income to the parish but also changing patterns of observance. By the 1980s Anglican services had become less ritualised and worshipers – both clergy and congregations – were finding the older liturgy and its associated furnishings too formal. In 1990, in order to facilitate a connection with a newly constructed adjacent 'parish lounge' and to enable a more relaxed style of worship, a new entrance was inserted into what had been the chancel, the floor plan of the church was reversed, with the altar and its associated furnishings relocated under the western window, and the original, now darkened, shellac finish of the interior woodwork stripped to provide a more contemporary feel. The reconfiguration diminished the visual impact of Bell's windows, disassociated their symbolic narrative from the functional roles of the spaces, effectively rendering it meaningless. The left flanking window of the now redundant chancel – designated 'I am the bread of life' – was clumsily inserted into the right terminal wall of the nave.

Bell's generosity to the parish did not go unacknowledged: a brass plaque was mounted in the church recording his gift and in September 1885 parishioners determined to present him with a casket of New Zealand woods made by the distinguished Auckland cabinetmaker, the Bohemian-born Anton Seuffert (c. 1814-1887). It was an elaborate affair; the New Zealand Herald reported that 'the designs in inlaid work of the different [New Zealand] woods are illustrative of Maori life and New Zealand ferns and shrubs.' An inscription was 'engraved on a silver shield:– "Presented to Alfred Bell, Esq., by the Vestrymen of Ellerslie, in grateful recognition of his magnificent gift of eighteen painted windows to Christ Church, Ellerslie, New Zealand. Auckland, January 17, 1885."' Shortly after, the casket was forwarded to Bell on the SS Arawa along with an exhortation from Martin that he should consider exhibiting it at the forthcoming Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London. Bell response was delivered through Martin who published an excerpt from his letter in the New Zealand Herald:
The beautiful present came safe and sound in all respects. What a magnificent thing it is! Everybody is interested and full of admiration. I will certainly do as you suggest, and endeavour to get it prominently exhibited at the May Exhibition of Indian and colonial products. It deserves to be seen–not only for the design, but the workmanship is so admirable–and the variety and beauty of the materials so remarkable.
Alfred Bell exhibited an unattributed 'memorial casket of New Zealand design and workmanship' at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in May 1886; amongst a range of other furniture, Anton Seuffert also exhibited a number of caskets in the New Zealand court at the exhibition, some borrowed from English-domiciled owners. It is possible Bell was unaware of the name of the maker of his 'beautiful present' but it seems most probable that what he displayed at the exhibition was his Ellerslie casket. In November 2009 the New Zealand Herald  reported the casket had been sold that month at Christies in London, allegedly to a New Zealand buyer.

Bell's glass transmogrified a modest timber structure into a jewel box of a church, endowing a newly-built colonial building with a simulacra of metropolitan verve and, with its mediaevalist imagery and colouring, adding a deeper historical and aesthetic dimensions to its thinly rendered Antipodean gothic revival form.

Thanks to the Rev Harvey Smith, priest in charge, Pamela Stone, people's warden, and Murray John of the Parish of Ellerslie and Mount Wellington, for their care of the windows and assistance in researching this post. 

The Christ Church Clayton and Bell windows feature in a forthcoming Auckland Heritage Festival event 'Ellerslie heritage walk and the stained glass windows of Christ Church' to be held at 2pm on Sunday 9 October 2016. Bookings required: (09) 579 5033 / eba@ellerslie.net / ellerslie.net

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