Windows of St Bede’s – Charity
In memory of Lottie Swan, died June 1912, wife of Rev. Canon W.A. Swan, Rector 1901-1918. A gift from the Parishioners.
From the Advertiser Monday 3 March 1913.
“At the early morning service on Sunday at St. Bede’s Church, Semaphore, a beautiful memorial was unveiled and dedicated in memory of the late Mrs. Swan. Among the large number of communicants present at the service were many who were personal friends of the deceased lady. The window was subscribed for by the parishioners and friends. The subject of the window is charity, a virtue always dear to the lady’s heart, and which she practised constantly during her lifetime, as is testified to by many of the poor of the parish. The Rev. J.T. Emery, priest-assistant, unveiled the window.”
The figure in the window is the artistic expression of the virtue, charity (love) which St Paul linked with faith and hope. St Bede’s also has a faith window.
The Greek word ‘caritas’ which translates today as “love” never means ‘giving to the poor’ in the Bible. It is a God-inspired love which includes respect for, and concern for, the welfare of others.
The greatest description of charity is found in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13.
1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
(King James Version (KJV))