Three-light window from the former Church of the Resurrection, Romsey Road, Eastleigh
Depicting St John the Baptist, Christ and St Peter; made 1881-1882, with alterations and additions 1901-1902
The Church of the Resurrection, Eastleigh’s first parish church, was completed in 1868 to designs by George Edmund Street. Rapidly outgrown by the population of the burgeoning town, it was first enlarged around 1883-1885 and then again between 1899 and 1905, tripling its size. However, a falling congregation and high maintenance costs caused it to close in 1978. Seven years later it was severely damaged by fire and lay derelict before finally being converted to flats in 2004.
This three-light window was made by James Powell & Sons, Whitefriars, London to designs by Henry Holiday (1839-1927). Holiday was an important artist in the Pre-Raphaelite style, a strong advocate of dress reform, supporter of the suffragette movement and, from the early 1860s, Powells’ principal designer of stained glass.
It was commissioned in 1881 as a memorial to Edmund William Crofts, who lived in North Stoneham. His name originally appeared in the panel below Christ’s feet, but this was unfortunately one of the few areas to suffer irreparable damage before the window was recovered. It has been replaced with appropriately patterned glass. Crofts appears to have been an uncle of James Crofts Powell, grandson of the founder of James Powell & Son and manager of their window department. This was therefore a family commission.
At first installed in the south wall of the chancel, the window was moved to the east end when the whole south side of the church was swallowed up in the enlargement of 1899-1905. Powells modified the design in order to make the window fit the larger openings. Much of the border decoration and the inscription I WAS CRUCIFIED / AND BEHOLD I AM ALIVE / FOR EVERMORE were probably added then. In the middle light, the angels’ heads above the figure of Christ are also probable additions from this time – though still the work of Henry Holiday – and the panel of colourless glass right at the foot takes into account the fact that this part of the window, in its new position, would be hidden by the reredos.