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The David & Jonathan Window

“David & Jonathan” Window, 1949 (Godfrey Memorial)

This window cost £96.15s. in memory of Mr. A. E. Godfrey, and the window was dedicated on 4th September 1949.  It is the last of the Morris & Company windows in St. Paul`s, and was designed (in a rather different style from the others) by D.W. Dearle [not J. H. Dearle].  The inscription reads: ‘In loving memory of Alfred Ernest Godfrey who died on April 19th 1943. Chorister and Sidesman for more than thirty years.’

Today, this window is the ‘odd-man-out’ in the Lady Chapel: the three surrounding windows all feature Our Lady and the events of Christ`s birth.  In 1949, however, it was the only stained-glass in the Chapel, (apart from the tracery over the East Window) – the rest have been added later. However, King David himself was an important figure in the Nativity story – as the carol puts it:
To you in David`s town this day
Is born of David`s line
A Saviour Who is Christ the Lord….”
So it`s quite appropriate to have his picture in the Lady Chapel.

David is shown on the left, wearing a crown and playing a harp.  It was as a musician that he first entered the service of his predecessor, King Saul (1 Samuel 16.23) – and, alongside all his other achievements, he went on to win a name for himself as ‘the sweet psalmist of Israel’ (II Samuel 23.1). 

Jonathan, the son of Saul, was renowned as a warrior (see 1 Samuel 14) and here he is depicted with spear and armour.  The close friendship between these two men was remarkable: it continued to flourish despite the hostility of Saul (who was trying to kill David, believing him to be a rival for the throne).  In fact David was utterly loyal, and only became King after Saul and Jonathan had both died.  But it was David`s royal line that was destined to last and this was the dynasty into which Christ was born, a thousand years later.