Stained Glass

The windows, which are mainly Scottish, trace the development of Stained Glass in Scotland from the early 20th Century to date. The majority of the windows are either gifted by or in memory of local people.

This information was provided by Bill Cochrane and the Aberdour Heritage Centre.

Use the arrows or the dots below to navigate through our Stained Glass Windows.

1. The Sacramental window

The Sacramental window in the east gable of the chancel sets forth the unity of the church in all ages in the one Lord Jesus Christ. It depicts our Lord with the Cup. Above is the dove, in the background is the cross, while His foot rests on the head of the serpent.

It is dedicated to the memory of all who worshipped in St Fillan’s Church from the middle of the 12th Century to the end of the 18th century.

The inscription says, Do this in remembrance of me.

2. The Grey Sisters

The window on the north wall of the chancel, depicts the Grey Sisters receiving a pilgrim at the hospice built in 1471 after John Scott the vicar had persuaded James the 1st Earl of Morton to grant an acre of land and money to build what became known as the Hospital of St Martha. The hospice stood at the corner of Main Street and what is now Murrell Terrace.

This window was gifted by the Sommerville family in memory of John Livingstone and his wife Helen.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

3. St Columba

On the south wall of the chancel the east window portrays St. Columba arriving at the island of Inchcolm.

It is dedicated to the Cunninghams of Dalachy.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

4. St Andrew

Also on the south wall of the chancel and nearer the chancel door, the window depicts St. Andrew calling his brother Peter.

It is dedicated to the memory of Rev. Robert Blair and was gifted by Miss Drysdale.


5. Healing the blind

The window next to the pulpit shows Our Lord healing the blind man with an inset beneath of the Church and either a well or the Dour Burn.

The window is in the memory of the Coventry family.

The inscriptions say, Lord that I might receive my sight, and To the Glory of God and in memory of those who have gone before. Erected by Agnes and Hugh Coventry.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

6. Baptismal window

On the south side near to the font is the Baptismal window which recalls our Lord taking a child and setting him in the midst.

It is inscribed, “Whoever shall receive this child in my name shall receive me, and whosever receiveth me receiveth him who sent me.” Mark 9:37

It was gifted in memory of Thomas Drysdale and his wife.

All of the windows (1-6)  are the work of the artist Alexander Strachan of Edinburgh, who with his elder brother Douglas founded the stained-glass studio in the Edinburgh College of Art. See p26 of Stained glass windows of Greenbank Parish Church.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

7. ‘Liston’ window

The window in the north wall between the choir gallery and the organ pipes, which has been used to fill in what was once an entrance to the church.

This window is known as the ‘Liston’ window. It shows a Celtic missionary (St Fillan?) preaching to a cross section of the inhabitants of Aberdour, including men & women, young & old, rich & poor, including a priest, fisherman, farmer, shepherd & soldier.

The background is the Firth of Forth, Inchcolm and, in the distance, the Pentland Hills to the south west of Edinburgh. It is the work of an unknown London artist.

The inscription says, To the Glory of God and in loving memory of the Rev. John & Robert Liston ministers of this parish from 1723 to 1796 and their descendants the Rev. William Liston minister of Cardonald Parish and Thomas Liston, merchant, London.

Rev Robert Liston was the Moderator of the Church of Scotland in 1789, his grandson Sir Robert Liston was a Surgeon noted for his speed and skill.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

8. Celtic cross

On the north wall diagonally above the “Liston” window (No 7) Emma Butler-Cole commissioned, in 2011, to design a stain glass window.

Choosing for her subject an ancient Celtic cross at Glamis and being conscious of the need for light in that part of the church, she created a bright design with colours to blend with the clergyman’s cloak in the window below.

9. Pilgrim & St Fillan

On the west gable with the organ pipes is a large Gothic window, possibly inserted in the late 16th century showing a pilgrim in the north light going to the well, whilst in the south light St. Fillan himself is depicted with his crosier and bell which are still in existence and may be seen amongst the most prized possessions of the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

It is dedicated to the Wotherspoon family and is the work of James Ballantyne of Edinburgh.

This window is above the leper squint, and some believe that Robert the Bruce, who as a leper, visited this church after the battle of Bannockburn.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

10. Jesus being baptised by John the Baptist

On the south wall alongside and to the west of the Baptismal window, is the first of two windows commissioned in 2000 to celebrate the millennium – an equal sum was also given to charity. The first depicting Christ Himself being baptised by John the Baptist, with an angel holding Christ’s cloak to the left and the Holy Spirit manifested by a dove above our Lord. You can see thistles in the foreground.

See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

11. Nativity

The second of the ‘millennium’ windows may be seen nearest the porch door and depicts the Nativity, with an angel playing the flute above and holly and berries in the background.

Both of the ‘Millennium’ windows (10 & 11) are the work of artist Roland Mitton. He described the design process, he wanted to show the characters as ordinary people – you can see their faces show up clearly.

See News – The Nativity window for more information. See also ‘Reflections from the Pew‘.

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Inchcolm Abbey

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