St Joseph's Catholic Church, Oakham

Consider the lilies of the field ...

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow”  [Matthew 6:28].

The overall theme of our windows is the depiction of lilies. The lily is the emblem of St. Joseph, spouse of Mary and dedicatee of this church, through an ancient legend that he was chosen from among other men by the blossoming of his staff like a lily. The lily is also the attribute of the Virgin Mary, being associated with innocence and purity, hope and life.

Within St Joseph’s Church, the unusual mix of window styles has led to a design using the lily as the inspiration for an abstract pattern. The apparently repetitive forms, always changing in detail, create a sense of calmness, bringing the architecture together. A gentle sense of movement around the building does not distract from the focus on the liturgy and sacrament at the East end.

The West window depicts water-lilies. The water-lily, with its blooms above the water and its roots anchored in the mud, is a symbol of the sanctifying power of Christ’s Holy Spirit.

Overall, the new glazing scheme retains the light and bright interior of the building by letting light through, while also creating a veil to obscure the view of outside and giving a focus for reflection.

Helen Whittaker Stained Glass and Sculpture