St Cecilia and St Persis, in a window of the Lady Chapel added to William Butterfield's St Mary Magdalene, Enfield in 1907-08. The window is a memorial to seven sisters, the last of whom died on 30 June 1929 at the age of 84 (see "Elizabeth Emma Frances Siffken, Deceased," and Abney Park Cemetery). There is a big difference here from the earlier windows by the same firm, as executed for Butterfield, especially in the size of the individual pieces. This is particularly noticeable in the architectural part at the top of the figures (see whole window, below). The mosaic effect has gone, though the Gothic reference has been kept.

Left: Whole window. Right: The setting — the Lady Chapel.

St Cecilia, carrying her musical instrument, is the patron saint of music, and St Persis is found in St Paul's Epistle to the Romans: "Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured well in the Lord" (16, 12). She is shown teaching a young girl. The sisters, we are told in the inscription at the bottom of the window, had devoted themselves to "art and teaching." Though it has its own gable, the Lady Chapel is small and simple space; it is pleasing in its own way.

Photographs by John Salmon, and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]


Abney Park Cemetery list. Web. 6 July 2015.

"The Chancel Glass." St Mary Magdalene. Web. 6 July 2015.

Eberhard, Robert. "Stained Glass Windows at St Mary Magdalene." Church Stained Glass Windows. Web. 6 July 2015.

"Elizabeth Emma Frances Siffken, Deceased." The London Gazette. 17 December 1929: 8241. Web. 6 July 2015.

Created 6 July 2015