Text taken from 'St Mary's Church, Fairford, Gloucestershire'. 4th ed 2001. Revised by Geoff Hawkes and Kenneth Munn Illustrations from the Sidney Jacques slide collection donated to Fairford History Society. Mr Jacques was verger to St Mary's Church, Fairford for eleven and a half years. These slides were taken before the restoration of the majority of windows so some differences may be noted on a visit to the church.
Since 1986 there has been a programme of restoration of the windows by the Barley Studio in York.
The twenty-eight windows have been used to express and teach by pictures the Christian faith for nearly 500 years. No other parish church in the land has retained a complete set of late medieval glass. The plan of these windows illustrated the Christian faith as in the pages of a picture book. Opposite to the twelve prophets, who foretold the faith, stand twelve apostles, each beneath a sentence of the Apostles' Creed, which expresses the faith. Four evangelists, who recorded the faith, are opposite four doctors of the Church, who expounded the faith. Above stand twelve martyrs, or confessors, who suffered for the faith; opposite are twelve enemies of the faith. Within the chancel screens is shown, in the Life of Christ, the foundation of our faith. In the bottom centre panel of the East window stands Our Lord being judged by Pilate. In the West Window is shown Christ judging the whole world.
From left to right: 1. Eve stands in the act of disobedience to God, taking the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The blue serpent, with woman's head and bust and cat's paws offers the tempting fruit.
2. .The Burning Bush. Moses is on holy ground. The Presence of God is revealed in the Burning Bush which is not consumed as he gazes. The bush betokens the body of Mary who, although she bore the son of God, remained a virgin.
3. Gideon and the Fleece. Gideon is strengthened by the Angel of the Lord. All the ground is dry, but the fleece laid upon it is covered in dew. This also foreshadows the Incarnation and the virginity of Mary.
4. King Solomon. The gentile Queen of Sheba stands offering a precious silver casket to Solomon, the Son of David. One day the magi, three gentle kings from afar, would bring presents to him that was born to be King of the Jews.
The Queen of Sheba
© 2013 Fairford History Society