John Piper’s Nativity Window at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Iffley, England, celebrates the feast of Christmas with child-like joy. From the branches of the Tree of Life, a cock, a goose, a raven, an owl, and a lamb announce Christ’s birth. Latin texts issue from the animal’s mouths, proclaiming the glad tidings.
“There is a wonderful old legend that on Christmas night the animals can speak. You can understand why that’s a legend because it made such a difference to the world that Christ had come—so naturally everything changed.”—Sr. Wendy Beckett
John Egerton Christmas Piper, (1903–1992), was an English painter, printmaker, and designer of stained glass. A leader of British abstract art in the early 1930s, his eighty foot Baptistry Window at Coventry Cathedral, is his best known abstract glass work.
BBC TV’s “The One Show” produced a charming video featuring Sr. Wendy Beckett explaining the Nativity Window. To watch it see: http://iffleychurch.org.uk/1the-original-plan-of-the-church/05-the-windows/