Descending and Ascending by Liddall Armitage
The quatrefoil windows at the west end of the side aisles were designed by E Liddall Armitage and installed in 1964. They are a memorial to William Cowen Wilson and were presented to St George’s by his widow and two daughters.
Liddall Armitage was a pupil of the Arts and Crafts stained glass designer Karl Parsons and later worked with Henry Holiday, completing some of his commissions after his death in 1927. For some time Liddall Armitage was Chief Designer of the James Powell & Sons/Whitefriars Studio, and his book 'Stained Glass: History, Technology and Practice' became a standard work on the subject following its publication in 1960.
The Whitefriars Studio provided the following description of his window at St George’s:
‘In these two quatrefoil windows the artist has attempted to symbolise in line and colour two events of outstanding importance to the human race. In one, at the Baptism of Christ, the Dove, symbol of the Divine Spirit, is seen descending on to earth, our human consciousness, reminding us of the inner voice of God which tells us that Jesus Christ is His Beloved Son.
The colouring suggests that of Springtime with life and hope surging to fulfilment. The time of fresh endeavour is also indicated by the rays of light, the highest thoughts and feelings breaking through the clouds of apathy into the routine of our mundane existence.
In the other light the symbolism is of the Ascension of Christ when, his earthly material manifestation being completed, his spirit reunites with the eternal and everlasting will of God, as a permanent potential inspiration to all human beings.
Here the colours are richer suggesting fulfilment and accomplishment which is visually manifest in the latter part of the yearly life cycle. The hands represent the aspiration, the yearning and the striving of all men to achieve some measure of improvement and perfection.
The rhythm of the two panels is designed to suggest descent, the higher thoughts becoming apparent, and ascent, the subsequent achievement, and to pattern in colourful symbolism an everlasting truth. Each year the life cycle gives opportunity of accomplishment and service in the everlasting will of the Almighty.’