Windows of St Bede’s – Faith
John Bollard and Henry Moritz December, 1911
The figure in the window is the artistic expression of the virtue, faith, which St Paul linked with love (charity) and hope. St Bede’s also has a charity window.
In the Old Testament, the word ‘faith” occurs only twice although there are many examples of faith. St Paul expounds on this idea, e.g. In Hebrews 13 he writes about Abraham being justified by faith: “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
The word is used over 500 times in the New Testament. St Paul said in “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. “ (Hebrews 11.1) Faith is trust in the person of Jesus, in the truth of his teaching, and in the redemptive work he accomplished on the cross, thus faith is exhibited in a Christian by the trusting acceptance of the demands of the Kingdom of God.
Faith is not to be confused with mere intellectual assent to the doctrinal teachings of Christianity. It includes a total commitment to Jesus as the light of the world.
The monogram (IHC) in the window is a variant of IHS. It is a shortened form of the Greek spelling of Jesus. IHS and IHC appeared in Latin and Greek manuscripts from as early as the sixth century. The inclusion of this monogram in the window reinforces the fact that faith in Jesus is central to the Christian life.