Wallsend – St Luke

DSC04365I caught the metro to Wallsend – where the station notices are in Latin as well as English. St Luke’s is on Station Road, visible from the platform – NZ300663. I was there for a DAC meeting on 25 July. If you type it into google, you find a St Luke’s Wallsend in New South Wales – perhaps southernvicar could blog it! Our St Luke’s was built by Oliver & Leeson 1885-7, western vestries ten years later, tower, chancel and Lady Chapel by Oliver, Leeson & Wood 1906.

DSC04354There’s a modern hall, well an old hall with modern work – not a financial success. This is a depressed town, and it is a challenge to be the church here. They are the high end of the Church of England …

DSC04361The church is large, with reordering done by previous people, which may need another reorder. I liked these angels by the Chancel.

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The most stunning thing in the church is the East Window. It was installed in 1922 as a WW1 memorial. The artist was Wilhelmina Geddes. An article (and better photos than mine) at http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/towerofglass/towerofglass.htm. If you live near Ely – hello Elaine (http://flightfeather.wordpress.com) – there is a lecture about her at St Peter’s church on Friday 27 September 2013. According to http://www.ulsterhistory.co.uk/Geddes.html “Wilhemina Geddes was born in Drumreilly, County Leitrim, on 25 May 1877 and was educated at Methodist College, Belfast, the Belfast School of Art and the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin. Her work was included in the 1914 Expostion des Arts Decoratifs in the Louvres. … She became a member of Sarah Purser’s Studio of Ecclesiastical Art, An Tur Gloine. As well as being one of the first of the Dublin stained glass artists, she designed book-jackets, book plates, stamps, posters, as well as illustrating books. She was also a needlework worker and worked on lino prints. … She designed a window at St Anne’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin, one at Monea Church, Enniskillen, three at All Saints’ Church, Dun Laoghaire, one at St John’s Church, Malone Road, Belfast, and two windows at Inver Church, Larne. Her windows in Wellington, New Zealand and Bartholomew’s Church in Ottawa, Canada, established her international reputation [no mention of Wallsend]. In 1929 she completed an eight-panelled window on the theme of the Children of Lir for the Ulster Museum and in 1938 she installed the Great Rose Window in the Cathedral of Ypres in memory of King Albert of the Belgians. Her work in represented in many places, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and more than thirty of her designs for stained glass windows are in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. She died at University College Hospital, St Pancras, London, on 10 August 1955 and is buried at Carnmoney, co. Antrim. In March 2010, NASA named a crater on the planet Mercury, ‘Geddes’, in commemoration of her revisionist approach to stained glass.”

That sounds like a quiz question – “which Irish stained glass artist has a crater named after her on Mercury?” You learn so much reading my blog.

The stained glass expert on the DAC commented that for the PCC to commission a window off her, would be like Ponteland PCC inviting Damian Hirst to design something for St Mary’s. Enough words – look at the images.

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2 Responses to Wallsend – St Luke

  1. Helen says:

    Having enjoyed several of your posts I was dismayed to read your observations of Wallsend. Whilst it is certainly not Jesmond or Tynemouth it cannot be said that it is hard to do church here…….

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    • Sorry to have dismayed you, but I have no doubts that keeping a church that size going is a challenge – whether it’s in Wallsend, Jesmond, or anywhere else. And at this stage of the year, with Christmas looming plus three funerals this week, being “church” is certainly a challenge in Ponteland (well, it is for this Vicar!).

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