All Saints Compton Stained Glass Windows
The Utterton Memorial window
Edwin Ernest Sumner Utterton (1876-1961) was rector of Compton from 1940 to 1951. He had served as an Army Chaplain during the Great War.
We are advised that the 1963 Utterton Memorial window uses opaque white glass, of the kind first used in Venice to produce an imitation porcelain or mother-of-pearl effect, and used extensively by Tiffany.
The window, showing the Madonna and child, and a pietà, is by James Powell & Sons, designed by Brian Thomas.
Some notes concerning the Utterton Memorial window
Transcribed from the plaque under the Utterton window, amended to show the correct relationship between Mary Sumner and Edwin Utterton.
The Reverend Edwin Ernest Sumner Utterton was the great-nephew of Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers’ Union; and the theme of his memorial is motherhood, exemplified in the Mother of Jesus.
The panel of the Madonna and Child is surmounted by an emblem of lilies, a crown and a star, and that of the Pietà, the Mother with the body of her crucified Son, by the emblem of the pierced heart (St Luke II, 35).
The Latin inscription is a line from the hymn – “Stabat Mater” – “Lo, the Mother, fount of love” – of which a very free translation appears as hymn 118, A&M Revised.
At the bottom of the window, surmounting the memorial inscription are the arms of the Utterton and Sumner families. The window was designed in 1963 by Mr Brian Thomas. In it can be discerned the influence of Robert Bridges, Poet Laureate 1913 to 1930:-
‘twas well when Art
fashioning a domestic symbol in worship of Christ
pictured him as an infant in his Mother’s arms,
sharing with her his suffering and glory – it was well:
Nor count I any scripture to be better inspired
with eternal wisdom or by insight of man
than the four words wherewith the sad penitent hymn
calleth aloud on Mary standing neath the cross:
EIA MATER, it saith, MATER FONS AMORIS.
The Testament of Beauty, Book II, 155-163
The Fawkes Memorial Window
At the west end, the plain window commemorates Rev George Fawkes, Rector 1958-1973, who died in 1990. , The windows shows this verse from a well-known hymn by George Herbert:
“A man that looks on glass,
On it may stay his eye;
Or, if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heaven espy”,
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8.14).
George, a retired naval chaplain, was married to the redoubtable Diana Fawkes née Weir; athlete, linguist, and long time cathedral guide.
Charles Eamer Kempe
The Kempe East Window
Saints shown, many with a local connection, are, reading from bottom to top:
Left light: St Alban and St Birinus, St Stephen and St Agnes, St Peter and St Paul
Centre light: St Augustine, St Edward the Confessor
Right light: St Benedict and St Swithin, St Mary Magdalene and St Catherine, St John and St Andrew.
The dedication at the bottom right of the window reads:
In honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, the True Vine, and of His Saints, and in grateful remembrance of those who have departed hence in the Lord, James Atkinson Pearson, xxv years Churchwarden of this Parish, dedicates this window. A.D. mcmvi.
Mr. Pearson served for 50 years as churchwarden and died in 1936.
Kempe is rated by many as the foremost designer of stained glass in the late Victorian era. You can find his work in many churches and cathedrals throughout England and Wales.
Born at Ovingdean Hall, near Brighton, East Sussex in 1837, he was educated at Twyford School and Pembroke College, Oxford.
He considered becoming a priest. But when it became clear that his severe stammer would be an impediment to preaching, he decided that if he could not minister in the sanctuary he would use his talents to adorn it.
He was a close friend of William Morris, Burne Jones, Madox Brown and Rossetti, whose influence can be seen in his work.
His trademark, a small wheatsheaf, appears in (almost always) the bottom left-hand corner of his windows.
There are six windows in Winchester Cathedral from the studio of C.E.Kempe: the three windows in the Lady Chapel, the east window in the Bishop Langton burial chapel, the Jane Austen window, and the window commemorating the centenary of the Rifle Brigade.
There are two in each of Dummer, Chawton and Upham churches, one in Lyndhurst, Compton, Overton and Twyford School chapel.
And many more throughout Hampshire.
Kempe died suddenly on 28 April 1907 aged 69, and was buried in the churchyard of the little early Norman church of St. Wulfran’s, Ovingdean.
After his death, his firm was reformed as C. E Kempe & Co. Ltd.
Kempe’s distant cousin, Walter Earnest Tower (1873–1955) became Chairman. If you should see a window with a wheatsheaf superimposed by a small tower, it means that it was designed after Kempe’s death.
Examples of work by C. E Kempe & Co can be seen in the little church of Farley Chamberlayne, and in the Winchester Cathedral window which commemorates those Kings Royal Rifle Corps members who fell in the South African War of 1899-1902.
Based on original notes by M.M.P. (Margaret Pooley)
Other local works by Kempe
- The Kempe Trust http://thekempetrust.co.uk/
- The stained glass of Charles Eamer Kempe by Adrian Barlow
- Wikipedia entry Charles Eamer Kempe
- stainedglassrecords.org details of stained glass at All Saints Compton, Hampshire
- Broken Lights – an article about the lancet window of mediaeval glass fragments in the old church, reproduced from the July 1930 Parish Magazine.