New Testament Church of God (formerly St Mary), Strood, Kent
AddressNew Testament Church of God, Vicarage Road, Strood, Kent ME2 4DG
HighlightEast window - Crucifixion with The Virgin Mary and St John
Artist, maker and dateWilliam Wilson and John Blyth, 1953
Reason for highlighting
This window was made when Wilson was at the height of his powers in the early 1950s, a period that included work on his largest and most significant project, the windows at Brechin Cathedral. In the 1950s there was a fashion for dark skin tones and the Christ in this window is an example of that.
When the church of St Mary was declared redundant it was bought by the New Testament Church of God, for whom the dark Christ has a particular significance.
William Wilson (1905-72) was a Scottish stained glass artist, printmaker and watercolour painter. While working as an apprentice to James Ballantine II he had his eyes opened to the potential of stained glass when he saw Douglas Strachan’s scheme for the National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle. He was a fine colourist, a talent that he developed across more than 300 church windows in Scotland. His career was tragically cut short by blindness in 1961, when he was also awarded an OBE.
Scotland’s Stained Glass Making the Colours Sing by Michael Donnelly (Historic Scotland, 1977)
Images of broken light: William Wilson by Rona H Moody, The Journal of Stained Glass Vol XXX, 2006, pages 140-150
William Wilson on Wikipedia
John Blyth (1915-99) studied at the Edinburgh College of Art under Herbert Hendrie, later joining his studio. He went on to work with several other firms over the years, including Clokey’s in Belfast and Shrigley & Hunt, but also had his own studio and in 1947 shared a studio with Margaret Chilton and Marjorie Kemp. He also worked with William Wilson from time to time, especially towards the end of Wilson’s life when his sight was failing.
Source: 200 Scottish Stained Glass Artists by Rona H Moody in The Journal of Stained Glass Scotland Issue Vol XXX (2006)