Manby church is only a minute or two along the road for me and for some reason I have always put off paying the church a visit, I think I always imagined it would be locked. I had noted some time ago that Pevsner refers to some Comper glass here, so I should have made more effort. Anyway when I finally made the arduous journey of four miles I was not disappointed with what I found. The east window of this rather pedestrian Perpendicular church, is filled with a glorious Comper window dated 1929 which portrays the conversion of St Paul before the gates of Damascus. It is a dramatic and complex composition. St Paul, in Roman armour, lies startled on the ground before the risen Christ, who appears surrounded by angels, four holding instruments of the Passion. The figure of Christ is a youthful figure of the sort usually favoured by Comper. St Paul is surrounded by armoured companions, two of whom flee in terror taking their horse with them.
This lovely window has a rather interesting history. It was originally the east window of St Paul’s missionary college in Burgh-le-Marsh in Lincolnshire. The chapel was Bucknall and Comper building built in the 1890s, which was furnished piecemeal by Comper over the next thirty years. The chapel was demolished in 1967 and the contents dispersed. The altar is now in Burgh-le-Marsh church, the stalls see below are in Sheffield Cathedral, while the glass … well all that remains of the extensive glazing is this window transferred to Manby. Where is the rest?
There are more photos of the Manby window on my Flickr stream