Guild of St. John of Beverley stained glass windows from Ephphatha House, Ealing, 1928
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 30 June 2017
In our collection of artifacts, we have, bizarrely, three stained glass windows. The windows were placed at 5 Grange Road, Ephphatha House, where Selwyn and Kate Oxley moved to when they got married in 1929. Oxley’s mother bought the house on his behalf, originally as a home for the library of the Guild of St. John of Beverley. The Guild deserves an entry of its own on the blog, for it was a repeating theme in Oxley’s life, & before his time it had its beginnings in the North of England with Ernest Abrahams and George Stephenson, among others. When Oxley discovered it he seems to have taken it over, and as he wife mentions several times in her biography of him, Man with a Mission, he loved ceremonies and the associated ‘dressing up.’ Essentially it was a religious organisation, that particularly in the early years of the century, involved a sort of pilgrimage to Beverley, or at least annual services commemorating him and his ‘miracle’ healing a deaf man.
a Hard of Hearing man, who had been in the employment of Messrs. Ward and Hughes of 67 Frith Street, Soho, above whose works the National Institute for the Deaf had at one time rented offices.
This firm had done work in All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey, under the Vicariate of the late Rev. W.H. Oxley, and this was the last bit of work done by them as a firm, as soon after they suspended business. The panels themselves are a work of art, depicting Our Lord healing the Deaf Man, and are flanked on each side by scenes portraying the miracles of St. John of Beverley and Francis of Sales. The colours blended with a simple but strikingly effective beauty, especially when the rays of the sun caught them.
They were unveiled in situ on the staircase by the Guild Warden, the Rev. W. Raper, ‘in his robes of office, carried the business through with a grave dignity’ (K. Oxley, 1953). I have chosen the two smaller ones to photograph, as the St. John one is rather larger & harder to get out.
They were not in place too long before the Oxleys moved out of London. I suppose that they came to us from Kate Oxley.
Oxley, K. A Man withe a Mission, 1953, Hill and Ainsworth