A Guide to St. Edward’s Church – Entrance, Narthex, Baptistery
To enlarge the pictures click on the photographs.
The Main Entrance Door and Narthex
In neo-romanesque tradition the entrance door has rounded arches. The Narthex is a vestibule/antechamber at the eastern entrance to the church.
Located on the far left hand side of the narthex these windows depict Jesus rising from the water following baptism, with the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove, and St. John the Baptist.
Line drawing of the original Baptistery by C. Dudley Brown
Until the major re-ordering of the church undertaken by Fr. Donald Jenkinson (parish priest 1966-1977) this was the site of the Baptistery. The font and gates were removed at this time. (The drawing of the Baptistery (far right) was made by Charles Dudley Brown in the 1940s). However a replacement stone baptismal font is now located at the site of the Baptistery. It was transported from St. Paul’s (Church of England, derelict) Semilong, Northampton and solemnly blessed June 1994. It is an example of Gothic architecture, being carved with quatrefoils, a shape that symbolizes the four evangelists.
On the wall, to the left of the Baptistery is a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was donated in 2009 by the Langley family in memory of their time (1913-2004) in St. Edward’s Parish. Behind the font are hung paintings (not pictured) of the patronal saints of the churches of the Parish of St. Edward’s by George Swift, a local parishioner; and a copy of the painting of the “Adoration of the Trinity” by Albert Durer 1511.
Located on the left hand side of the narthex, between the baptistry and the main door is a window depicting Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God. The lamb has Jesus’ cruciform halo and is bearing the English flag in victory. This is Jesus, the sacrifice, who has triumphed.
On the right hand side of the narthex, between the main door and the side door and partially obscured by the stairs to the upstairs gallery, this window displays a book against the background of a cross. The left hand page of the book carries the words “Pater Noster” (Our Father). The right hand page shows a (Greek) cross on communion bread against the background of a head of wheat.
Placed on the right hand side of the narthex, next to the side entrance, this window shows a red (Greek) cross against a background of a four pointed star, also symbolic of a cross.
Windows in the internal swing doors separating the narthex and the nave state “Ego Sum Ostium Ovium” MM AD (“I am the Door of the sheep” 2000 AD – John 10:7). They were created by Aldridge Stained Glass to celebrate the Holy Year declared for the start of the new millennium. The windows were blessed at Christmas Midnight Mass 1999.
To the right hand side of the internal swing doors is a window containing the Papal insignia. To the left hand side the window carries the insignia of the diocese of Northampton.