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“Presentation of Christ in the Temple” Window, 1961. (Leach Memorial)
This is the window on the North wall which forms part of the Children`s Corner. Appropriately, it depicts the scene of our Lord`s first visit to the Temple, as a Baby just under 6 weeks old.
The window was donated by Ken Leach (Churchwarden of St. Paul`s from 1959 to 1975) together with his brothers and sister. They gave it in memory of their parents, Frederick and Florence Leach. Like the Nativity Window, this one was also designed and made at Whitefriars Studios – (notice the ‘White Friar’ in the corner once again). It was dedicated by the Vicar, Fr. F. H. Smith, on 24th September 1961. The inscription reads: “To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Frederick and Florence Leach.”
With a boy-child, this took place on the 40th day of his life. The mother had to offer a sacrifice, which was normally a lamb plus a dove or pigeon; but the Holy Family, being poor, qualified for the ‘reduced rate’ of two doves or pigeons.
Only the mother was involved in the Purification ceremony; but in the case of a first-born baby boy, the child himself had to be especially dedicated to God, a custom which originated at the time of the Exodus from Egypt – (see Exodus 13). Jesus came into this category, and was therefore ‘presented’ in the Temple. So two quite distinct ceremonies were performed on the same occasion.
The window itself is a straightforward representation of the scene. In the centre, Simeon is holding the infant Christ, while Mary looks on. Anna is shown on the left, and Joseph appears on the right, carrying the two sacrificial birds.