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The stained glass at All Saints

Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary figures prominently in the childhood stories of Jesus, and is present at significant moments in the life of her Son’s ministry, Passion and Death. We can be sure that she gave her Son all her love and support throughout His life on earth. In St John’s Gospel, we read of Jesus, as He is dying on the Cross, instructing John to take Mary into his own home and to care for her as his own mother. In so doing Christ makes Mary, Mother of the Church as John was the only disciple who dared to risk being at the Crucifixion. Mary is most honoured among the Saints.

Jesus gave Simon the name Peter and made him leader of the Apostles. He was put to death in Rome around the year AD64. Jesus gave him the name Peter, meaning rock, and told him that he (Peter) was to be the rock upon which Christ’s Church was to be built. Before joining Jesus, Peter was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee.

The Apostle to the Gentiles (non Jews). He also was put to death in Rome sometime after Peter, maybe around the years AD65 ~ 67. Paul was a devout Jew who experienced a vision of Christ while on his way to imprison Christians in Damascus. On the road to Damascus he had a vision of Christ and following this he was baptised in Straight Street, Damascus and became a disciple of Jesus Christ. The vision convinced Paul that he was to bring the Good News of the Gospel to the Gentile World and so he
undertook his great and dangerous missionary journeys for his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

St John is an Apostle who also wrote the fourth Gospel. The writers of the Gospels in the New Testament are called Evangelists. (Can you remember the names of the others?). John is also sometimes known as “the Beloved Disciple”. Although he too was persecuted for his faith, he did escape with his life and ended his days at a ripe old age in Ephesus, which is now part of Turkey. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is believed to have lived with him in Ephesus before her Assumption into Heaven.

An Apostle who is remembered for refusing to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead unless he actually touched the wounds of the Risen Christ. His confession of faith, though, showed that he never doubted the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Thomas’ confession about Jesus is “My Lord and My God”.

An Apostle and Martyr. A martyr is a person who dies for his or her faith. Andrew was martyred around the year AD6O. Like his brother, Simon Peter, he too was a Galilean fisherman and lived in Capernaum. Before following Jesus, he was a disciple of St John the Baptist.

An Apostle and Evangelist. Before Our Lord called him into His Service, Matthew was a tax collector. He is the author of the first of the four Gospels.

An Apostle who was chosen to take the place of Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus to the Jewish authorities). Matthias had been a follower and disciple of Jesus Since Our Lord’s Baptism.

An Apostle who introduced Paul to the other Apostles in Jerusalem after Paul’s conversion. Barnabas was not one of the original Twelve. Together with Paul, Barnabas was sent to Antioch and from there joined Paul in his first missionary journey. He is remembered in the scriptures as being “a good man” and his name means “son of encouragement.”

An Apostle and brother of John whose father was head of their fishing business. On meeting with Jesus they gave up fishing and. followed Our Lord. With his brother, James was known as “a son of thunder” for his ardent temperament. There was nothing “soft” about him or his brother. James was the, first Apostle to die for his faith, when he was put to death by the sword on the orders of King Herod Agrippa in AD 44.

An Apostle and one of the Twelve. He is also known as Nathaniel in St John’s Gospel. Very little is known Bartholomew, but it is thought that he travelled to India to preach the Gospel.

An Apostle who also was called the Zealot in the Gospels. He may have been called a Zealot because he belonged to a strict Jewish religious sect before he became a disciple of Jesus. Zealots were renowned for their strong opposition to Roman Rule.

An Apostle and Martyr. Also known as Jude in the Gospels. It is believed that he may have travelled with Simon to Persia, but little is known about him except that he was martyred.

St Philip is an Apostle who came from Bethsaida in the Galilee region. He became a disciple of Jesus probably after following John the Baptist. Philip persuaded Bartholomew to follow Jesus also.

St Mark is one of the four Evangelists (Gospel writers). He too was a companion of St Paul on his missionary journeys and also travelled with St Peter. Mark travelled with Paul and Barnabas on that first missionary journey and was martyred sometime later, possibly around AD74 by the Emperor Nero.

An Evangelist who wrote the third Gospel and also the Acts of the Apostles He was a Greek physician who became a disciple of St Paul and travelled with him on his missionary journeys.

He was the forerunner of Jesus and the son of Zachariah, a temple priest, and Elizabeth a cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. John the Baptist was beheaded on the orders of King Herod Antipas, without a trial, to please his brother’s wife, Herodias, and her daughter, Salome. John died around the year AD3O.

Stephen was the first Martyr of the Christian Church. He was a deacon, that is one of the seven men appointed by the Apostles to look after the welfare of the faithful who were sick, widowed or homeless. He was stoned to death and the witnesses placed his clothes at the feet of Saul of Tarsus, later to become St Paul and also to be martyred as a Christian!

One of Our Lord’s followers who stood by His Cross, and on the first Easter morning she went to His Tomb to anoint his Body. It was Mary Magdalene who, along with two other women, found the Tomb empty and to whom the Risen Christ appeared in the garden there.

An Archangel whose name means “one who is like unto God”. Michael is the principle fighter of the Heavenly Host against the devil in the Book of the Apocalypse (some times called The Book of Revelation).

First Archbishop of Canterbury who came to England in AD 597. He was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the English to the Christian Faith. The Faith had been proclaimed by many of the northern saints, such as Aidan and Cuthbert, before this time, but much of England had lapsed back into pagan practices. Augustine of Canterbury died around the year AD 604.

Daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia. She was married to Egfrith, King of Northumbria, but dedicated her life to Christ and became a Nun. She founded the Abbey of Ely.

King of East Anglia around the year AD 841- 829. He was martyred for his faith by the invading and pagan Vikings.

A Roman Martyr of the third century. She dedicated her life to Christ and when both her husband and her brother were executed for their Christian faith she buried their bodies. For this Cecilia herself was martyred. She is also the Patron Saint of Musicians.

If you look carefully you will see other images of saints in the windows and in the decoration of the church. You will have noticed that we used two words to describe some of our Saints one word is Apostle, and the other Disciple (or follower) of Christ. The word “apostle” means someone who is sent forth and particularly authorised to act by the person who sent him. So we see that the Twelve Chief Disciples are called Apostles because Jesus gave them, and only them authority, to act on his behalf in governing His Church. They were The Apostles around which the Church grew, and they passed on their authority to others in the same way that Jesus had given it to them. This process continues today in the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church through our faithful Bishops who are successors to those early apostles. St Paul and St Barnabas too, are called Apostles because of their very special relationship with the risen and Ascended Christ and the other twelve Apostles. Someone who was, or indeed is, a disciple is a learner or in some way being instructed by someone else to live a life based on the teachers instruction. So we have Jesus’ disciples who included more than the twelve Apostles, or chief disciples; there were, as we have seen, disciples of St John the Baptist; even the Pharisees had their disciples. We know who the Apostles were. They were men especially chosen by Jesus to carry on His work by His special authority. We know, too, that there were many more than these, who were followers of Jesus, and these we call disciples.