The windows are one of the finest features of St Mary's and provide an excellent survey of stained-glass manufacture from 1878 through to the Great War. Makers include George William Luxford, Alfred Octavius Hemming, C. E. Kempe & Sons, and James Powell & Sons.
Unusually (in Brighton at least), most of the pictorial windows are narrative ones, illustrating well-known stories from the Gospels. Along with the narrative depictions on the font, pulpit, high altar, and reredos, they form a striking illustration of the didactic or instructional nature of the Evangelicalism that flourished at St Mary's in the late 19th century. Many other churches that were built in Brighton in this era, particularly the Anglo-Catholic ones sponsored by Fr Arthur Wagner, stuck closely to the mediaeval tradition of decorating windows with static portraits of saints.
Initially, however, in 1878, most of the windows were intricately patterned leaded ones in tints of green. These were made by a young George William Luxford (1851–1933) of London. His work was of excellent quality, and the surviving examples of it, particularly the large window in the south transept, are artistic and aesthetic features in their own right. The patterning incorporates numeric symbols, such as pentagons in the sanctuary windows for the five wounds of Christ and quatrefoils for the four Evangelists in the nave gable windows.
In the following sections, the directions given are liturgical ones. In other words, we treat the sanctuary as though it points to the east, even though it actually points north on the compass.
Great War windows
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