The Stained Glass Windows
The magnificent three part memorial window dominates the East wall of the church. The centre section measure 32 feet by 3 feet (9.75m by 91cm) whilst the two side lights each measure 24 feet by 2 feet (7.32m by 0.61m). The original coloured glass window was replaced by the beautiful stained glass window we see today in 1927 and was erected by the children of William and Emma Clegg. The stained glass is the work of Messrs. Jones and Willis, a Birmingham firm established in 1847 who later opened premises in London and Liverpool.
Mr. W. Clegg
At the centre of the lower section is the figure of St. Thomas the Apostle who is Patron Saint of the church. He is depicted wearing brown robes. The figures on the left and right represent music in worship with the harp and organ finding a place in this representation.
The central image is of Jesus Christ on the cross in a setting of golden light. At the foot of the cross stand the Virgin Mary and St. John. To the left is the scene of the Nativity whilst on the right the Resurrection is suggested by the tomb and watching Roman soldiers. Surmounting this is the risen Christ with a pierced hand uplifted in blessing recalling the scene of the Ascension. The over all theme is "Christ in Glory" - the Alpha and Omega - the Beginning and the End.
At the base of the window is the inscription,"To the glory of God and in loving memory of their parents, Emma Clegg who died 10th Nov 1908 and William Clegg who died 30th Sept 1922, this window was erected by their children Easter 1927."
The inscription on the cross above the crucified Christ is represented by the initial letters of the translation in Latin I N R I (Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum) Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.
These three images show more of the detail of the Memorial Window.
Left - The harpist from the left side light.
Centre - The ascending angel above Christ on the cross.
Above - The window above the central panel
North Wall Windows
The Children's Window
This window was unveiled on 10th September 1892 and was called, "The Children's Window" because the money for it had been given by the children attending the Church Service on the afternoons of the first Sunday of each month. The subject is the ministry of Angels and the first light is a copy of a piece of sculpture by Canon Coll (German). In just five years the children's offerings paid for the window (£56), the brass tablet (£5) and a new alms dish (£4). They also paid for two brass vases and flower holders for the Holy Table and an oak Glastonbury Chair.
Close up detail of the left and right window lights and the carving on the Glastonbury Chair.
The Rev. Hutton Window
To the immediate right of Children's Window is the window dedicated to the memory of Rev. F. P. B. Hutton M.A. who was the incumbent at St. Thomas' between 1872 and 1877. The Rev Hutton died in Leicester on 22nd October 1884. The money to pay for the window was raised by a group of parishioners.
The window depicts Jesus during childhood and with children. The light to the left depicts Mary, Joseph and the young Christ who is sawing a piece of wood whilst Mary and Joseph look on lovingly - "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary" (Mark Chapter 6 - verse 3)
The right light depicts Jesus with a group of children - "Suffer little children...to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven". (Matthew Chapter 19 - verse 14)
The Garrett / Musicians' Window
To the immediate right of the Hutton window is the window dedicated to Philip Louis Garrett who was the organist at St. Thomas' for many years. Garrett was born 17th April 1824 and died on 25th July 1880. The window was erected in his memory by J. Royston.
The main theme of the window is music and musicians which clearly reflects Garrett's love for the subject.
The left hand light depicts Jubal who was a descendant of Cain. According to the account in Genesis Jubal is the father of those who play the harp and flute. Some descriptions include the lyre, organ and all musicians. "...His brother's name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of those who play the harp and pipe" (Genesis Chapter 4 verse 21.)
The right hand light depicts King David playing the harp / lyre (Hebrew Kinnor). In the book of Samuel David is a young shepherd who gained fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath. "...David would take his lyre and play it so that relief would come to Saul; he would recover and the evil spirit would leave him alone". (Samuel 1 Chapter 16 verse 23)
The Memorial Chapel Window
The final window on the north wall is in what is now the Memorial Chapel. It is dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Shum who was one of the first church wardens at St Thomas'. His wife and children all predeceased him and he is buried in St. George's churchyard.
The image on the left light depicts the referenced verses from St. John's Gospel, "...so saying she went to call her sister Mary and, taking her aside, said, 'The Master is here and is asking for you.' As soon as she heard this she rose and went to him." (John Chapter 11 verses 28 & 29). The lower panel reads, "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."
The image on the right light depicts another referenced verse from St. John's gospel, "When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said, 'Here is an Israelite worthy of the name; there is nothing false in him'." (John Chapter 1 verse 47). Nathanael is also known as Bartholomew - Nathanael Bar-Tolmei or Nathanael son of Tolmei. The lower panel reads, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
A report in the Isle of Man Times from 27th September 1873 reads as follows.
"This week two coloured glass windows have been placed in St. Thomas's Church, Douglas, in memory of the late Colonel Shum, who was one of the first trustees of the church. They have been presented to St. Thomas's by Robert Shum Esq., of London, a nephew of the late colonel. The designs on the windows, which are exquisitely coloured, represent two interesting scriptural subjects.
The work erecting them in the church was entrusted to Mr. C. Thomson, plumber &c. of Strand Street."
South Wall Windows
The Boardman Window
The first window we come to on the south side of the church as we move forward from the main entrance is dedicated to then memory of Robert and Jane Boardman. It was given by their daughter Jane Dalby in 1888.
The left light has an image of Ruth holding ears of corn. The lower panel reads, "She gleaned in the field after the reapers. Ruth is the person after whom the Old Testament book of Ruth is named. She was not an Israelite but came from Moab and is named in the gospel according to St. Matthew as an ancestor of Jesus. "...Salmon of Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Boaz of Obed (his mother was Ruth), Obed of Jesse; and Jesse was the father of King David." (Matthew Chapter 1 Verses 5 & 6).
She is depicted holding ears of corn as a symbol relating to her story in the book of Ruth. "Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. When she threshed out what she had gathered she ended up with nearly a full sack of barley." (Ruth Chapter 2 Verse 17).
The right hand light depicts Martha of Bethany holding a bowl of fruit. She was a sister of Lazarus whom Jesus brought back from the dead. Martha was also a sister of Mary Magdalene. The lower panel reads, "There they made Him a supper and Martha served.". This relates to the story in the Gospel according to John. "They gave a super in His honour, at which Martha served and Lazarus was among the guests with Jesus." (John Chapter 12 Verse 2).
A report in the Isle of Man Times from 13th November 1897 reads.
"Last week a very fine stained glass window was placed in St. Thomas's Church, Douglas at a cost of nearly £70 which was defrayed by money left by the late Mrs Dalby who previously presented two other windows. The new window is in the South aisle nearest the West door.
The subjects of the design are Martha and Ruth, two scriptural characters of whom Mrs Dalby had expressed a great regard and she made an instruction in her will that Martha and Ruth be the subjects for illustration. The installation of this window completes the set of eight, four on each of the North and South walls.
The design and manufacture of the window is by Messrs. Heaton, Butler and Bayne, of London and was installed by Mr Nicholson and Mr Royston of Douglas.
The brass plaque was made by Gawthorn, of Long Acre, London."
The James Dalby Window
Next to the Boardman Window on the South Wall of the church is the stained glass window dedicated to the memory of James Dalby who died on March 30th 1884. The window was erected in "affectionate remembrance" by his widow, Jane Dalby who was Robert Boardman's daughter. Jane Dalby died on 21st September 1896 at Windsor Cottage, Douglas.
The Isle of Man Times dated 19th May 1888 caries the headline, "Presentation to St. Thomas'Church" and goes into some detail about the presentation of the window.
"A handsome Stained Glass Window has been placed in one of the stone window frames in the South aisle of St. Thomas'Church. It is the gift of Mrs Dalby of Windsor Road and has been thoughtfully erected by her in memory of her deceased husband, Mr James Dalby.
The window consists of two panes, each being formed of three panels. In the centre panel of one of the panes, St. John the Evangelist is depicted, in his hands the saint holds the emblems which are usually associated with him. In his right hand he holds a pen which, in Ecclesiastical heraldry, signifies that he is the inspired author of Holy Writ. In the upper panel is the figure of an eagle, another emblem of St John, surrounded by passion flowers and beautifully shaded foliage. The bottom panel is also exquisitely stained with flowers and foliage.
In the other panel St. James the Greater is depicted. The saint's face is the picture of majesty, and the hair and beard are admirably shown. In the right hand is the pen which stamps him as the author of a portion of scripture whilst in the left hand he holds the pilgrim's staff on which is slung a water bottle. On the head covering is shown the shell that denotes the pilgrim...the work reflects credit upon the artists, Messrs Heaton, Butler and Bayne of Garrick Street, London. The window has been fitted by Messrs Royston and Sons, stone cutters, and Messrs Nicholson Brothers, glaziers, both of Douglas.
The situation of the window is most appropriate being immediately opposite to the pew wherein Mr Dalby worshipped. The generous donor, it is said, contemplates the presentation of another window in memory of her decease parents, so struck is she with the beauty of the present one". N.B. This is the Boardman window as described above.
St. James the Greater or James Major is given these names to distinguish him from the other disciple, James Minor or James the Less. Greater meaning older or taller rather than more important.
On the wall beside the window is a brass plaque with the wording, " Jane Dalby erected this window to the Glory of God and in affectionate memory of her husband James Dalby who departed this life XXX March MDCCCLXXXIV".
Matthew Ch 4 Vs 21-22 "Going further on, He saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them and at once they left the boat and their father, and followed Him".