Manchester Cathedral stained glass windows

The older stained glass windows in the Cathedral were lost as the consequence of a direct hit from a WWII bomb. Now all the stained glass in the church dates from the 1970s onwards. The windows are very colourful and abstract in nature, here are a couple of examples. All the windows were created by Antony Holloway and were specifically designed to emphasise the Cathedral’s squareness and width.

The first one above is the Creation Window from 1991 and the depicts the chaos then order of Genesis. it includes key elements from the creation story (the sun, moon, stars, plus humans and the serpent. The second picture is the St George Window from 1972 elements for the dragon can be seen as well as his the Saint’s red cross.

The windows at first seem quite random in design but elements do emerge to the viewer the longer they are viewed (especially if you know the window’s name). The most abstract window is the Revelation Window 1995 (below).


The blocks of colour suggest the new Jerusalem of the Book of Revelation. Below you can see how the modern stained glass works with the Gothic vaulting.


I think that because the windows are so abstract they retain a timeless quality which doesn’t date them to a particular. The window above is the St Mary Window from 1980. Because it doesn’t specifically feel 1980s in design i think it does compliment the Gothic ceiling adjacent.

Some information for this post is from the Manchester Cathedral publication “A Wall of Light” which is available from the Cathedral.





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