Explore The Church
THE SOUTH TRANSEPT WINDOW
The window in the south transept, in what was once a chapel, is by the renowned London studio of Clayton & Bell and dates to around the 1890s. Even though it is one of our smallest windows, some would say that it is our finest. We hope you are able to see it at its best, on a bright, sunny day. They excelled in their vibrant and contrasting use of colour and blended medieval manufacturing techniques with a Pre-Raphaelite style. Clayton & Bell were also master story tellers: this particular window shows John the Baptist baptising Jesus in the River Jordan and the Holy Spirit coming down upon him in the form of a dove. His banner reads “Ecce Agnus Dei” (Behold, the Lamb of God). This moment marks the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Why the subject? Because the font was once sited in front of this window. St Mark records that when Jesus was baptised, a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” This is a very powerful and yet a very personal scene – this is the moment when Jesus must become greater and his cousin John must become less (John 3:30). Baptism is nothing if not transformational.
The waters of baptism are yet another reference to water in the stained glass of St Clement, water that has been so important in so many ways to the people who have worshipped in this church down the ages.