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Prisoners of Conscience Window

Close up of Prisoners of Conscience window

Probably grisaille originally, the window was partially replaced in 1791 by an enamel painted scene of the Resurrection designed Sir Joshua Reynolds, made by Francis Eginton, but removed in 1854.


The Clayton and Bell window in 13 century style by William Wailes in memory of Dean Francis Lear that replaced it was itself replaced in 1946, again by grisaille. Some of the window is medieval and some Victorian, but it made little visual impact. When Dean Evans (1977-86) arrived at the Cathedral, he perceived a need for more colour in the Cathedral and had an idea of providing it with a resplendent window reflecting a Christian response to the violence and injustice so widely suffered in the 20 century and commemorating prisoners of conscience of all races and faiths the world over.


Designed by Gabriel Loire and made by him and his son Jacques in their workshop in Chartres. The window was unveiled on 14th May, 1980 by Yehudi Menuhin and dedicated by Bishop Reindorp (1973-1983).  The centre lancet shows the Crucifixion with gold above signifying Truth, a triangle of light from Jesus's head shines on the graves of prisoners. The ascending spiral expresses the theme of Resurrection.


On the left, at the foot of the cross, a sorrowing figure of the Mother of Jesus. Centre left lancet shows (in second panel down on left hand side) the head of Jesus from the back as he stands before Pilate, (in the second panel down on the right hand side) Pilate in judgment and boy holding bowl for him to wash his hands disclaiming responsibility and (in the third panel down on the right hand side) a cock crows three times when St Peter denied Our Lord and the face of St Peter weeping in remorse.


The centre right lancet shows Jesus in a red robe with his head crowned with thorns, blood running down his forehead, being mocked by soldiers. The far left lancet shows the firm faces of convinced prisoners. Far right lancet shows the doubting faces, arrows of doubt, with anchor of  hope at the top left and the green star of vision at the top right.