The Stained Glass Window in the Annexe of St Mary's Church
Installed in the Chuch in 2022
Written by Jamie Dodds
Stained glass window St. Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe designed by James Dodds, made by Andy Brooke and Pascale Penfold for the Church Meeting Room extension designed by Architects Inkpen and Downey. Installed 2022
Blue Boat and Dove is a contemporary version of an ark – a sanctuary in troubled times – with the biblical dove overhead bearing an olive branch of peace.
The east end window is in a triangular space with curved sides above a glass door. The window is approximately 3.84m wide and 2.3m high, or 7 square meters. I see the boat representing community, and the dove hope, floating above a turbulent background. A vernacular blue boat a type that would have been built locally, a type that I helped build when I was a shipyard apprentice.
The holy spirit is often represented as a dove. In the famous paintings by Piero della Francesca and Leonardo Da Vinci of the Baptism of Christ the dove flies straight down from above. The dove is also a symbol of peace, with its olive branch it offers Noah hope when adrift in the great flood. The Ark is a sanctuary in adrift in troubled seas. The boat is an ancient symbol for the Church and still resonates in the word we use for the central portion of a the building, the nave. The Latin word for ship is navis, and navicula the humble boat.