THE TWO CHRISTS: All Saints' Church, Madeley, North Staffordshire



All Saints’ Church, Madeley, 

North Staffordshire


Charles E. S. Fairey

October 2022

‘The Parable of the Weeds’ Stained Glass Window, North Aisle, Madeley Church

At All Saints’ Church in the village of Madeley in North Staffordshire, there is a stained glass window in the North Aisle, depicting Christ, with the Devil stood behind him, both sowing seeds, on the left. And a red winged Angel putting sheaves of the harvested wheat to a grate and its red flames, as well as a black winged Angel putting sheaves of harvested wheat into a barn for storage, on the right.

Underneath the left hand window the following phrase is included:-

“Which sowed good seed in his field(?)”

And underneath the right hand window the following phrase:-

“Let both grow together until the harvest(!)”

* * * * * * *

The window is based upon the ‘Parable of the Weeds’ from the Gospel of Matthew, as part of and linked to the ‘Parable of the Sower’, as the following (with highlighted phrases directly relating to the window) reveals:-

“The Gospel of Matthew (The New International Version) Chapter 13:
The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

* * * * * * *

In the left hand window we can see that: Christ is depicted to the front, sowing from his right hand, towards the earthly ground, in a stream of white seeds; whilst the Devil is behind him, also sowing seeds, with his red right hand, which are green in colour; with holly growing behind them.

The Devil is also stepping around the Christ, with his left foot to the figure of Christ’s bottom right, and the Devil’s right foot appearing behind Christ to the bottom left.

Also notice, there are two doves descending on the right hand margin of the window panel, and presumably the Tree of Life behind them both. The Tree of Life may represent the gaze of the Heavens, and therefore God.

In the right hand window we see a red winged Angel in profile to the front, standing towards the left, putting wheat sheaves, which represent the wheat mixed with weeds, the white flowers growing in between, into a burning grate with red flames. This represents the wheat which grew bad.

Whilst behind him, standing to the right, also in profile, is a black winged Angel, putting wheat into a barn, for storage. This represents the wheat that grew good.

Behind them and above them is the star lit night sky, at the End of Time, the Last Judgment, recorded in the ‘Parable of the Weeds’, as ‘the End of the Age’.

The Two Christs, Madeley Church

If you look closely at the Window, you can see that both Christ and the Devil have very similar facial features, one light skinned, the other red skinned, both with similar hair and beards, but different eyes and ears, with the Devil baring his teeth.

Christ is looking at us, but seems to acknowledge but not show that acknowledgement, to the Devil behind him. The Devil on the other hand, is fully aware that Christ is in front of him, and is trying to manoeuvre around him, without knowing that Christ is fully aware of him.

You can also see that the Devil is surrounded by a darker sky like cape with hood, which must represent night, as the Parable of the Weeds says:-

“But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”

“The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.”


“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.”

“The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.”

So if we take this Window symbolically, is it telling us that the Devil is the Dark Twin of Christ, prevalent during the night, after in the day the Light, i.e. Christ, had sowed the good seed? So whilst Christ slumbers, at night, his Other, the Darkness, is awake, and working against him?

Why else depict them being so similar, one in the light blue of day, and the other stepping around him, very close, looking over his right shoulder, doing the opposite, in the darker blue, dead of night? They seem to be so close to each other that the Devil, emanates from the Christ.

It certainly seems plausible, that the designer of the Stained Glass Window, was making us question ourselves, and that we may all carry both light and darkness in our hearts, even Christ, and that we must overcome our dark self, and raise ourselves to our light self, following the Message and the Waye of Christ.

And do the two white doves we saw to the right margin of the window panel, actually represent the two spirits of Christ, one for each half of his duality?

Much of the Christ story is very similar to the aspects of Shamanism, where people must go through a sort of rebirth, where they shed their darker baser self, and live on after their rebirth, as the light that remains, furthering that light through their lives, unto the next death and rebirth, whatever world they may be in. Much like a snake sheds its old skin, to renew itself.

At the Crucifixion, did Christ shed his dark self, which was nailed to the Cross, whilst his light self, lived on and returned after his death, and then ascended to Heaven, the next world, after his rebirth?

And at ‘the End of the Age’, i.e. the Last Judgment, in the right hand window: do the Angels burning the evil doers / wheat / weeds, in a flaming furnace, represent the souls who did not shed their dark selves, and served their baser self; compared to the souls who shed their darker selves, and decided to follow their light selves, and ascend in that light of rebirth, represented by the Angel storing the good doers / wheat in a holy building?

In this way does the Window ask:-

“Which sowed good seed in his field?
Let both grow together until the harvest!”


“Whosoever did not have an ear, and did not follow me,
Who grew their baser self in the Past,
And grew their darkness,
Towards Hell,

And Whosoever had an ear, and followed me,
Who left their baser self in the Past,
And was reborn into the Light,
And grew towards Heaven,

Both shall be Judged at the End of Time:
The Wheat that grew with the Weeds,
Burned for their darkness and unfruitfulness;
Whilst the Wheat that grew with the Light,
Collected and housed for their heavenliness.

For we were all sowed together,
We all grew under the Gaze of God,
Whilst the Devil planted weeds to tempt
And the Son of Man sowed all originally equal,
But only those who followed me and the Waye,
Shall escape the flames of the fiery furnace!”

* * * * * * *


With Special Thanks to:-
My friend Michael ‘Jarl’ Oakes, who accompanied me when visiting All Saints’ Church, in Madeley, North Staffordshire, as part of ‘Heritage Open Days’, on Saturday 17th September 2022.

* * * * * * *


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