Bellshill Central Parish Church is extremely fortunate to have many beautiful stained glass windows.
The four central windows were gifted by Matthew Corbett, in memory of his son Sergeant James Brownlie Corbett of the Royal Air Force, who was shot down and killed over Holland on 26 May 1943. These windows were designed and fitted by the Abbey Studio under the direction of Frank Ryan. They were dedicated on 7 October 1962.
Good Friday – third window on the west or right side of the Church
This is one of the windows placed in memory of James Brownlie Corbett, who was killed in 1943 while serving with the Royal Air Force. The RAF crest features in the bottom right hand pane of the window. The words on the crest are, “Per Ardua ad Astra” which translates as, “Through Struggles to the Stars.”
Above that, there is a picture of a pelican with two smaller birds under her wings; one on either side. Apparently, in medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available. As a result, the pelican became a symbol of the Passion of Jesus.
The story of Good Friday begins in the top left hand pane where, as written in Matthew 26, 49 (page 40) – Judas went straight to Jesus and said, “Peace be with you, Teacher,” and kissed him. The bag of silver coins, which Judas later tried to return, can also be seen.
In the pane below Jesus can be seen carrying his cross before Simon of Cyrene was forced to help.
The right hand side of the window is dedicated to the crucifixion where Jesus can be seen with a criminal on either side. The crown of thorns is visible and some nails are also in the picture.
Some of the Jesus followers are shown, including a woman holding on to the cross.
Two soldiers are at the foot of the cross; Matthew 27, 54 (page 43) – When the army officer and the soldiers with him, who were watching Jesus, saw everything that happened, they were terrified and said, “He really was the Son of God!”