THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of May 1901

Memorial window is unveiled at Fitzroy Avenue Church

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:00 am
Assistant Minister Jonathan Abernethy-Barkley pictured outside Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, University Street, Belfast, in October 2014. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

A beautiful stained glassed window in memory of the late Reverend George Shaw, which had been erected thanks to the generosity of members of the congregation of Fitzroy Avenue Presbyterian, had been unveiled in the church.

The News Letter reported: “It occupies a position in the south side, and consists of two lancet lights. In one of these Christ is depicted as the Light of the World, with the words beneath, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock’; while in the other a sower is represented, with the text under, ‘This seed is the word of God.’ In a little rose window above a dove is portrayed with outstretched wings, carrying an olive branch. At the base of the whole there is the following inscription: ‘In loving memory of the Rev George Shaw, AB, fifty years pastor of this church, who fell asleep, October 1899, aged 82. He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. Erected AD 1901’.”

The work, which was executed by Messrs Heuston, Butler and Bayne of London, was noted as being “the most artistic in every detail”.

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At the morning service on Sunday, May 26, 1901, the Reverend William Colqhoun made “appropriate reference” to the late Reverend Mr Shaw.

The Reverend Colqhoun told the congregation: “The memory Mr Shaw’s ministry will linger in the hearts all who knew him as their minster

“As we look back at his life now through the clearer calm that lapsed time brings to the judgment, we see perhaps most prominent among his finest qualities, unswerving loyalty to conscience, even in the face obloquy and opposition, a trait of character that may well be cherished as example and inspiration us al in an age that is in danger of losing its grit in the desire to be agreeable. He seems to have maintained all through his long life a strong sense of duty, and to have tried do that duty even when most disagreeable.

“He gave more time to the public work of the church and the community than most men could have afforded, and gave ungrudgingly.”