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Icon of St John

The Icon of St John was painted by Theresa Margaret, an anchorite sister of the Convent of the Holy Name (Oakwood) and was donated in memory of Malcolm and Betty Grostate, long time members of St John's. On Pentecost Sunday 15th May 2005 we were privileged to have Sister Monica, Mother Superior of the Convent, to dedicate the Icon.

Sister Monica gave us the following description of the icon:

"Saint John is firmly seated on a solid stool on the green earth, and behind him, also on the green earth, is the church of St. John's. However, the blue heavens curl right round and under him, and one toe not only rests on the heavens but comes out onto the 'frame'. The 'frame' really is the gold of eternity and infinity - always a gold in ancient art, for gold cannot tarnish or corrupt. Eternity and Infinity lie all about us. - And here the heavens roll back to reveal the Lord blessing John. Two rays of light come from the wounds in his hands to touch both John's writing hand as he puts down the beginning of his Gospel, (the words are gold too - NB 22 carat gold, the purest! - for they are touched with eternity) and also this church of St. John's which is also 'in touch' with eternity and infinity, and in the church are its people, of course.

Behind Saint John the heavens continue to roll back to reveal his ancient emblem, The Eagle, coming to inspire him. Icons are often called 'Windows Into Heaven', but in a way Theresa Margaret prefers to think of them as 'Windows out of Heaven'; it's not so much that we 'go into them' as that they come out to us and include us in what is shown there. The main figures usually gaze out at us, but Theresa Margaret felt that the greatest thing about John was that he loved Jesus very greatly and there was trust between them. She says, I felt John would always have his gaze fixed on Jesus and I hope this might help us to do the same, and to see, as he does, Jesus gazing at us."