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The Kirk of Calder Stained Glass Windows

(Larger versions of all the photos below can be viewed in the Kirk Photo Album Page)

East wall window above balcony

East window above balcony

Refurbished in 1995, the Stained glass windows are considered to be of very fine quality, not often seen in provincial churches of this kind. Despite being of similar profiles, all the windows all have different stone mullion patterns

The older part of the building constructed in 1541 has two stained glass windows. The oldest is the East window (above the present balcony) which according to the Kirk session minutes of 1864 indicates that a window designed by Messrs, Field and Allen, Frederick street, Edinburgh had been inserted as a replacement for an earlier window. It depicts the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
The South elevation has three windows, working East to West the first two are mainly plain clear diamond shaped leaded windows and the third a stained glass window depicting the four saints believed to be (from left to right from the inside) St Andrew with a Saltire cross, St Peter with the keys to Heaven, St James with a pilgrims staff, and St John the Evangelist with a book and pen. It is mentioned in the Kirk Minutes of 1st December 1884 when permission was granted to a Mr. H. B. McCall to erect it a memorial to his wife.

The translation of Latin transcription is " To the glory of God and in memory of his beloved wife, ("Vidae Mariae") Vida Mary who died on the 16th March 1884 aged 33, She fell asleep in Jesus and her ashes rest in the adjoining cemetery. Hardy Bertram McCall had this window made."

Choir South wall window

South wall window

South transcept window and window to left of organ on West wall

South transept window and West 
wall window to left of organ


The Newer part of the Church constructed in 1863 has four stained glass windows, a large one to match the size of the other South facing windows on the South transept, two narrower full height windows either side of the pulpit on the West wall, and a rose window at high level above the organ also on the West Wall. the final window on the North transept is a large window glazed with diamond shaped leaded clear glass similar to the first two windows on the South elevation.

The oldest richly coloured stained glass window is the one on the South transept and was approved by the Kirk Session on 31st January 1891 when the Rev. Mr. Gardener submitted a sketch of a window to be erected by John Wilson Esq. of Alderton.

It depicts in the first two sections the visit of Saints Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of James to the sepulcher and has the text "He is not here for he is risen". The third and fourth sections represent the Saviour's appearance to Saint Mary in the garden, with the text "Touch me not for I am not yet ascended" 

The windows either side of the organ on the West wall were dedicated by the son and daughter of James "Paraffin" Young who discovered the process to obtain paraffin and one of the founders of the shale oil industry. The one to the left w3as dedicated by Thomas Graham Young to his father who died in 1883 and his mother Mary Young who died in 1868. It shows in the first section Moses at Sinai receiving the tablets of the law and has the inscription "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes", the second section shows Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus, and Martha "cumbered about with much serving", with the text "Mary has chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her"

The window to the right of the organ was dedicated by a daughter of James Paraffin Young, Mr. and Mrs. Walker of Limefield. It is known as the children' window and is dedicated " In Memory of Mary" their daughter that died in infancy. It has the text "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of Heaven". Mary died on the 23rd April 1885 aged only 12 years and 6 months and rests in the church graveyard to the left of the Malt Barn.

Children's window

Children's window on West wall

Rose window

Rose window above organ on West wall

It is thought that the rose widow above the organ was installed at the same time as the other two West facing windows.

On sunny days the full splendour of the windows are seen with rich colours reflected on the old walls of the Kirk. 

The Leaflet "The Windows of Kirk of Calder" has further information on the windows, and is included in the Publications pack.

Larger versions of the Photos and detail of some of the panels can be seen in The Kirk Photo Album



Kirk of Calder Parish (Church of Scotland) is registered Scottish Charity No SCO13461

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