Rotary Club of Easthampstead
Serving Ascot, Bracknell and Wokingham and surrounding areas
Charity No. 800519
The banner of the Rotary Club of Easthampstead shows the figure of St. Michael. This figure can be seen in the remarkable stained glass East window of the Parish Church of St. Michael and St. Mary Magdalene, Easthampstead, near Bracknell – 30 miles west of London. The window depicts the Last Judgment and it has been described as the finest 19th century window in England. It represents the high point in the joint work of Sir Edward Burn Jones and William Morris. Sewter said of this window “The Burn Jones designs translated into colour by William Morris surpass by far anything either could do separately, and what any other stained glass artists in the 19th century could produce”. This window is referred to as being of an altogether different level of artistic creation than the works of other Victorian artists in stained glass.
The banner has been produced by silk screen printing by Toye Kenning and Spencer Ltd., of Nuneaton, and the design uses only four colours. The full beauty and subtlety of the window can only be appreciated fully in the Church. However, the banner maker has been remarkably skilful within the limits of the manufacturing process.
The subject of the banner is an angel. Winged figures of Gods appear in the earliest pictures of mankind. Angels are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament where they form God’s Court and are sent on missions to people on earth. There were seven great archangels in Jewish belief at the time of Christ. Christianity inherited them, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael have been given distinct personalities in the Christian tradition. Michael’s name means “like God”. He led God’s army against the devil in the war in heaven, and is often shown as a mailed warrior. He is the angel who will sound the last trumpet at the end of the world, and who will weigh souls in the balance.
The window was created by Lady Downshire in memory of her husband, who died aged 29 on 31st March, 1874. It is inscribed “To thee Honour and Glory of God in loving remembrance of Arthur Hill, 5th Marquis of Downshire this window is erected by his wife. Nevertheless not my will, but thine be done”
Rtn. John Black