detail of the East Window in the Church of St Eadmer,
Admarsh-in-Bleasdale, North Lancashire
In my study I have a wonderful framed photograph of part of the East Window in Bleasdale Church, Lancashire, where I had the honour of being Vicar. It is a magnificent image of Christ the King, seated on a throne, holding the Orb and raising his hand in blessing.
The photo Including the full triptych of accompanying angels was given to me as part of my leaving present mainly because I had often told the people there that when I left I would be taking the window with me.
One of the churchwardens worried that I might carry out my threat, so he took magnificent photographs and had them framed!
I had gazed on it for ten years and it still revealed new things to me.
It speaks of Christ’s Majesty and Glory and of His Victory over Death. His hand in blessing is extended to the whole world which is depicted as a rainbow flowing from the throne. Above the crowned head are the letters IHS – a Greek symbol for the Holy Name of Jesus – and at his feet there is an open bible with the letters Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end of the Greek Alphabet, which is from the end of the Book of Revelation – I am the Alpha and Omega, says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
The whole thing is rather splendid and in keeping with today’s Festival of Christ the King. Traditionally this is kept on the last Sunday of the Church Year to sum up all that has gone before as we have been led by the Church to contemplate the life of Christ – the saving events of His birth, his life and teaching, his death and resurrection; His ascension and the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost and the way in which Christ has been lived out and witnessed to in the early Church. This Church year which has taught us so much about the things of God ends with Christ’s enthronement as Lord and King when everything is gathered up by our Risen, Ascended, Glorified Christ to the throne of heaven. Because it has been a difficult period in which to conduct our worship, our journey with Jesus Christ has been particularly and essentially significant and a reminder that we are constantly held in the Love of God, a love which is eternal.
For me the figure of Christ the King in Bleasdale Church sums all that up so I just wanted to share it with you.