Holy Trinity Church, South Woodford

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Bosses and Carvings

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Taken from "History and Brief Guide" - Wimin W. Figg June 1974

Bosses and Carvings of the Tower

The carvings on the three smaller bosses of the Tower are

South East The Arms of the Diocese of St. Albans.
North East Old symbolic shield of the Holy Trinity
North West The orb surmounted by the cross, to represent that by the cross the world is glorified. In hoc signo vince (conquer by this).

Two capitals on the north side of the Tower represent the weapons of the Christian's Armour, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, the Sword of the Spirit, and the Girdle of Truth.

The centre capital has the letters I.,E.S.,U. from the people by George Herbert:-

"To my broken heart, He was I ease you,
And to my whole is Jesu,"

In the centre capital, on the east side, below the carved head of Bishop Claughton, is the Pastoral Staff and Mitre. On the north capital is the cock, the emblem of watchfulness, "like the souls of the Just waiting for the Dawn, after the darkness of this world's night."

The cock is also represented because

"Cock, he is a marvellous
Bird of God's creating;
Faithfully the Priestly life
In his ways relating;
Such a life as he must lead
Who a parish tendeth,
And his flock from jeopardy
Evermore defendeth."
(Poem probably of the 14th Century)

The south capital on the east side is connected with the words Repent, Believe, Obey and represents the Cross of trial and difficulty and the Crown of Reward.

In the east capital of the north doorway of the Church, below the head of Amphilbalbus, are two chalices; the one is connected with the priestly office, also with the text over the doorway which tells of the practice of the early Church. Acts 2 v 42 "They met constantly to hear the apostles teach, and to share the common life, to break bread and to pray." The other chalice is connected with the word Obey, over the east door, and refers to the words of or Lord Jesus Christ, who "in His holy Gospel did command us to continue a perpetual memory of that, His precious death, until His coming again."

In the capital below the head of St. Alban, the soldier of Britain and the soldier of the Cross, are the shield and sword with their double meanings, and a reference to his martyrdom.

The Alpha and Omega are found on a capital in the west doorway as well as on those of the most eastern columns of the apse, it is therefore emblematically at the 'beginning and end of the Church'.

The other titles of our Lord, which are signified in the capitals of the west doorway, are The Morning Star, the IHS and the Fish, the consecutive letters of which word in Greek form the initials of the titles, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.

In the other capitals of the doorway are the ark (of Christ's Church) and the seven-branched Candlestick, with seven branches, also representes that Christ's Church collectively is made up of individual congregations, and that amongst each one of these congregations, the Son of Man is evermore walking and taking account.

The Memorial Chancel

The central idea of the Memorial Chancel is the Ascension and the Life Everlasting.

The subjects of the windows, the Reredos, the Altar-Table, the Altar Rails, the Carved Cornice, the Stringcourse, the Seven Steps, all point to the "City which hath Foundations whose Builder and Maker is God".

If the full design for Holy Trinity Church had been carried out, inscribed above the Chancel Arch would have been the words, "When Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers". Immediately below, in the low stone screen, is the text, "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," and in the gates of the Chancel are the words of the Nicene Creed, "I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the world to come" - all that lies eastwards of the screen therefore speaks of brightness and joy.

The Reredos, representing the Ascension, with the text "Arise, O Lord into Thy resting place", is intended to illustrate our Lord's words - "I go to prepare a place for you", "Where I am there ye may be also".

The carved texts in the Prayer Desks, Litany Desk and Choir Stalls refer to Prayer, Praise, Thanksgiving and Intercession.

As the Chancel tells of the Holy City, so the texts in the Tower Entrance point the way thither.

Repent, Believe, Obey (inscribed over the Narrow Way) the keynotes of the Church Catechism, being also the keynotes of Apostolic teaching. The Christian is not to find his way alone, for being by his Baptism a member of the Divine Society, 'built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone'; - he must continue 'steadfastly in the Apostles' Doctrine and Fellowship, in the Breaking of Bread and the Prayers' - Acts 2 v 42.

The head of St. Alban from whom the Diocese derives its name, is carved on the western boss of the principal doorway. That of Amphilbalbus, the Christian priest, for whom he gave his life, on the eastern.

One of the bosses of the west doorway shows the Cross supplanting the curse; on the other is the emblem of the Divine Unity in the Eternal Trinity to Whose Honour and Glory the Church of Holy Trinity, Hermon Hill, South Woodford, is dedicated.

Texts in the Chancel are

On Chancel Screen.

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

On the Steps.

  1. Holy, Holy, Holy.
  2. Lord God Almighty.
  3. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
  4. Endure as seeing Him, Who is invisible.
  5. Looking for a cith which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.
  6. The name of the city shall be The Lord is there.
  7. Make us to be numbered with Thy Saints.

In the Altar Rails (lower part)

Increase and multiply upon us Thy Mercy, that Thou being our Ruler and Guide we may so pass through things temporal that we finally lose not the things eternal.

In the Altar Rails (upper part)

We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things that are not seen, until He come, - until the day break and the shadows flee away.

In the Lower Part of the Altar-Table, below the carving of the Good Shepherd

Tell me, O Thou whom my soul loveth, where Thou feedest, where Thou makest Thy flock to rest at noon.

In the Upper Part of the Altar-Table.

He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Below the Reredos of the Ascension.

Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place.

In the String-Course, above the Arcading of the Chancel.

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.
Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come.

In the Cornice.

O god the King of Glory, who hast exalted Thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph into Thy Kingdom in heaven; We beseech Thee leave us not comfortless; but send to us Thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before.

In the Credence Table.

Melchisedech brought forth bread and wine.

On Prayer Desk (North).

Continue in Prayer and Watch.

On Choir Stalls (North).

Thou preparest their heart and Thine ear hearkeneth thereto.
The Lord hast never failed them that seek Thee.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.

On Prayer Desk (South).

Sing, rejoice and give thanks.

On Choir Stalls (South).

Give unto the Lord and glory due unto His Name.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

On Fald Stool.

He ever liveth to make intercession for us.

In the Glass of the Three Windows taken from Revelation.

The City was pure gold.
The Throne of God, and of the Lamb shall be in it.
His servants will serve Him.

Inscribed in the Bible enclosed within the Foundation Stone.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

Inscribed in the Prayer Book enclosed within the Foundation Stone.

Thus saith the Lord, stand yet in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein and yet shall find rest for your souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles' Doctrine and Fellowship, and in Breaking of Bread and in Prayers.

In a Marble Panel above the Foundation Stone.

Built upon the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner Stone.

Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.

Carved round the Foundation Stone, on which is the Double Triangle intersected by the Cross.

Jerusalem is built as a city that is at unity in itself.

In Memoriam
  J. H. N.  
Other Memorials are:-  
Altar Book.
Dedicated together with the electric lighting of the Church, 12 February, 1950, to the memory of parishioners and members of the Church who gave their lives in the Second World War. Their names being recorded in the Altar Book.
High Altar Reredos.
In memory of Richard Whittaker Nutter and given by his daughters
Pulpit Sounding Board.
Given by Rev. John Holyoak, B.A. (2nd Vicar) at the end of his 10 year ministry in 1924.
Bible on Lectern.
In memory of Jane Monks, mother of Canon H. Monks, M.A. (3rd Vicar)
Paschal Candlestick.
To the memory of Mable Playll - 1889 - 1964
Memorial Shrine at West End behind Font.
To those who lost their lives in the First World War.
War Memorial on South side of Choir.
Windows in North Wall.
Lady Chapel.
Dedicated by Bishop of Barking, 5th May, 1926.
Lady Chapel Reredos.

Dedicated to the memory of Dorothy Elder who died 10th June, 1929 and also of Hannah Elder who died 4th February, 1941.

The Reredos was exhibited in the Festival of Britain Exhibition at Lambeth Palace, 1951.

Vicars Board.
2 Chairs.
To the memory of L/Cpl Heritage, 1914/1918.
In memory of Mr. W. E. Carpenter who was Churchwarden for 37 years.
Sanctuary Lamp.
In memory of Mrs. Judd who served the Church for many years.
Processional Cross.
In memory of a former sacristan, Mr. E. F. Chapman, who was also officer in charge of the Church Lads Brigade for many years.
Front Prayer Rail in Lady Chapel.
To the memory of Mary Bunce, Sextoness for 50 years. Died 1958.

Stained Glass Windows

All the stained glass windows at the east end of the Church were destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War, and were replaced by the three present windows, which were designed by Hugh Easton, the designer of the Royal Air Force Window in Westminster Abbey. These windows were dedicated by the Bishop of Barking, 22nd April, 1950, to replace those destroyed which were dedicated by Mary, Jessie and Gertrude Nutter in memory of the following:-

Richard Whittaker Nutter died 1861
Jane Hutchinson Nutter died 1862
John Whittaker Nutter died 1871
Whittaker Knighton Nutter died 1880
Jane Nutter died 1894
Robert Scott Stable (Churchwarden) died 1890

The subjects of the North and South Windows were the rest and peace of Paradise (Hymns A and M, 122), and the first appearence of the Risen Lord on the Resurrection Morning, to Mary Magdalene, whom He addressed by name; in His Resurrection Life still continuing His work as the Good Shepherd, who knoweth His sheep by name and calleth them; The Resurrection Window has thus a connection with the Altar Table - the central subject of which was the Good Shepherd; on either side an angel adoring - to the North David and Joseph, types of the Good Shepherd, and an Archangel - to the South St. Peter who received the commission, "Feed my sheep," "Feed my lambs," St. John who transcribes our Lord's teaching "concerning Himself" as the Good Shepherd - and an Archangel.

The subjects of the three Eastern Windows were taken from the early chapters of the Book of Revelations, and represented the Adoration of the Lamb - the Worship of the Heavenly Host - and the Great Multitude which no man can number, standing before the Throne, and before the Lamb.

The Eight Elders in the Windows were designed to represent some of the leaders of the Jewish Church and of the Holy Catholic Church, they were:-

To the North
To the South
Melchizedek St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, died 397
Aaron St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, d. 430
Titus Paulinus, 3rd Bishop of Rochester, d. 644
Restitutus British Bishop of London, A.D. 314 Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, d. 1711

The Great Multitude is composed of typical and representative characters taken from the Old and New Testaments, General Church History and English History. In the Window to the North were:-

In the Window to the North were
To represent those who will be alive at the coming of the Lord, and shall be caught up to meet Him in the air.
The father of the faithful, the friend of God.
(Rebekah's Nurse)
The representative of faithful, loving, domestic service.
The man of prayer, to whom was vouchsafed the heavenly vision of thousand thousands ministering unto Him.
St. Luke
Healer of the body, who delivered wholesome medicines for the diseases of the soul.
Representing montherhood and the training of the young. Deut. 6 v 6-7
Representing those whose early religious training bears much good fruit later in life.
The Child Samuel
In favour both with the Lord and also with men.


In the Central Window was
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Typical of the pure in heart - St. Matthew 5 v 8, and of those who yield a ready acquiescence to God's will - Be it unto me according to Thy word, "Whatsoever He saith unto you do it."
St. John the Baptist
Representing those who constantly 'speak the truth, boldy rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake.'
St. Paul
The man of position and culture laying all his talents at his Master's feet, and devoting all his powers to his Master's service.
Representing personal service to Christ, and His poor. St. Matthew 25 v 40
St. Alban
The rich and generous soldier of Britain, and its first Christian Martyr. "The noble army of martyrs praise Thee."
Ethelbert and Bertha

The first Christian King and Queen in our Land. 'Kings shall be Thy nursing fathers, and their Queens Thy nursing mothers.'

The Venerable Bede The diligent student and translator of the Holy Scriptures. The great writer and teacher of the Anglo-Saxon Church. He died on the Eve of the Ascension, A.D. 735
St. Ignatius as a boy
Tradition says he was the child placed in the midst by Christ. 'Known also as Theophorus, the God-bearer.' - 2 Cor 6 v 16
St. Faith
Who served the Lord Jesus all through her young life and gave it up for Him.
A Holy Innocent
To represent all those 'just touch'd with Jesus' light' and early folded in the arms of the Good Shepherd.


In the Window to the South was
Fra Angelico
The saintly painter, all of whose work was dedicated to God. He represents all those whose talents and gifts are consecrated their Maker's use.
Richard Hooker
Who developed and secured for the Church of England the strength which lay in her power to appeal to the two great witnesses of her authority and truth - reason and history.
George Herbert
The saintly English parish priest, the musician, the sweet singer - for some months a parishioner of Woodford.
Bishop Wordsworth (of Lincoln)
Who represents 'the Church of England as it stands, distinguished from all Papal and Puritan innovations, and as it adheres to the Doctrine of the Cross'.
Bishop Coleridge Patteson
The martyred Missionary Bishop of our own day, who turned many to righteousness from the 'Isles of the sea'. - In more than forty tongues he taught the Christian Faith.
One of his native scholars, now in Holy Orders.
Charles George Gordon
The Christian soldier, who feared no man, and served his God, his Queen, and his Country with all his heart, and with all his strength.
One of the Poor Boys
Whom he rescued and taught
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