'Give us this day our daily bread'
Photo © Martin Crampin
1896Single-light window with kneeling figure receiving a blessing from Christ, the scene set in a landscape with angels above. The industrial scene below shows a blast-furnace and a pithead.
technique: stained glass
firm/studio: Robert J. Newbery
donor: William Thomas Lewis
Church of St Tydfil, Merthyr Tydfil
west wall of the nave (baptistry)
Texts: (beneath the main scene) 'Give us this day our daily bread' (Matthew 6:11); (held by angels above) 'Our Father which art in heaven' (Matthew 6:9); (below the industrial scene) 'The thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light' (Job 28:11), 'As for the earth out of it cometh bread' (Job 28:5).
The window was given by Sir W.T. Lewis in memory of the 'Captains of Industry' that he had been associated with, and long list of their names is given on a plaque below the window.
The meaning of the window is complex and unusual. The upper part of the window uses two sections of the Lord's prayer to frame the figure of the kneeling man, perhaps meant to represent the donor, who receives the blessing of Christ, and perhaps by implication 'the bread of life'. Bread is also alluded to below, as coming out of the earth, but the section from Job concerns the industry of mining, although in the context of the search for wisdom. The donor was a prominent and successful mining engineer and coal-owner who was made a baronet in 1896, the year in which the window was given.
According to a newspaper report (Cardiff Times 13 May 1899), the window 'incorporates subjects characteristic of the industries of the district, and is in that respect a bold departure from the conventional treatment of subjects in memorial glass. It is mainly the conception of the rector, but it appears there are ancient examples of such treatment.'
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Martin Crampin, Stained Glass from Welsh Churches (Talybont: Y Lolfa, 2014), p. 158.
John Newman, The Buildings of Wales: Glamorgan (London/Cardiff: 1995), p. 437.
View this object on the Stained Glass in Wales Catalogue
Photo © Martin Crampin
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