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In the north wall of the nave at the west end, is the third of our John Hall windows installed by H. A. Anderson in 1951, and depicts the legendary figure of Sir Galahad, remover of the sword from the stone, one of the three knights sent in search of the Holy Grail, son of Lancelot.

Galahad was known as “The Pure”, as indicated by the French superscription (“never speak ill of anyone, never indulge in scandal-mongering”) and also “The Perfect Knight”. He was perfect in courage, gentleness, courtesy and chivalry. But why is he here? The Poet Laureate, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), had made Galahad into a very popular figure through his poems “The Holy Grail” and “Sir Galahad”. But we are now in 1951. Is Galahad, this very Victorian mixture of saint and hero, with his pure heart and solemn quest, an anachronism after two world wars, which had undermined many people’s faith that there was a purpose to anything? Perhaps. But Galahad was on a journey of faith, and, in Tennyson’s words, he invites us to follow him:

And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go.