Stained Glass Window Design | St Matthews Anglican Church | 1993 and 2006

1993  |  Stained Glass Window design for four panels Gayndah Anglican Church, Queensland. These are known as The Resurrection Windows.

2006  |  Stained Glass Window designs for four further panels at St Matthews’s Anglican Church, Gayndah Queensland. Windows designed by Jennifer Andrews and created in glass by Gordon Slack. The windows were installed in 2008.

1993 The Resurrection Windows

The Resurrection windows, feature a design across four panels for St Matthews Anglican Church in Gayndah, Queensland.


Gordon Slack commissioned, and created in glass, the Resurrection windows at St Matthews Anglican Church in Gayndah, Queensland, Australia. He wanted a design to do with resurrection and also to be relevant to the district of Gayndah. Gayndah was in the grips of severe drought at the time. A bottle tree clinging onto the desolate slop of a small hill near the town caught my attention. Gordon was also a cattle farmer, and he specifically wanted his Brahman cattle to feature in the design. Other produce in the region included citrus.

Jennifer’s interpretation of the brief

Keeping in mind the theme of resurrection the panels represent the transformation from desolate life to new life. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, represented by the traditional symbols of fire and water, new life emerges.

The mountains around Gayndah, and a symbolic underground stream (water of life), form a unifying symbol. A bottle tree, citrus, cattle, bush fire, and deluge are motifs in this design.

The first two panels have aspects of the desert and the idea of the fire clearing the ground for new life. The bottle tree is a reminder of the continuing presence of life even in the barren desert. This symbolises the eternal presence of God’s life-giving force. The final two panels emphasise water and the bright colours of new life.

Window 1 Hope

The bottle tree symbolises life when everything else is barren. In this design it symbolises the continuing presence of God even in the barren desert. Water is a traditional symbol of the Holy Spirit. When all else seems dry and barren and all hope is gone, water can be found at the very heart of this tree.

The shapes in the sky resemble flames. The heat of the drought pulses in the burning blue of the sky. The tree’s limbs appear lifeless on one side but a glimpse of green in a new leaf on the other side symbolises the ongoing life force. The leaves are coloured green and yellow. The green is both the actual colour and the colour associated with new life and the yellow is symbolic and ties the leaves in with the idea of the flame which is used to clear the way for the new growth. Fire is another symbol for the Holy Spirit.

The flames above the distant hills suggest that the way is being cleared for the new life.

Window 2 Burning Bush

When God spoke to Moses in the form of a Burning Bush the bush was not destroyed and God’s presence was manifested. Fire is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The land needs to e cleared by fire to make way for the new life. Some seeds are actually germinated by the head of the fire.

The symbolic underground stream is flowing and is being supplied from the deluge in Window 3.

Window 3 Deluge

The ground has been cleared and the deluge brings forth new life.The underground stream is flowing towards the bottle tree to bring replenishment.

Window 4 New Life

“New life in Christ”, or resurrection, is an essential component of Christian belief. In this panel new life is symbolised as growth in the presence of the Holy Spirit. This new life is represented through the images of the citrus fruit and the cattle. The rainbow symbolises a new start

2006-2008 The St Matthews Windows

In 2006 The family of Matthew Ping commissioned stained glass window designs for four further panels above The Resurrection Windows at St Matthews’s Anglican Church, Gayndah Queensland. These windows were designed by Jennifer Andrews, created in glass by Gordon Slack, and  were installed in 2008.

The brief was to represent the life of St Matthew in memory of Matthew Ping, a much loved young man from Gayndah.

The windows are meant to both read from left to right from inside. However, the top windows were inadvertently installed to read from left to right from outside. After much discussion, the parish decided to leave them like this and to acknowledge the storyline with a plaque inside the church.

The Parish has lighted the windows beautifully so that they glow from outside at nighttime, and reward a night viewing.


St Matthews Anglican Church
Gayndah Queensland

Stained glass window designs for St Matthews Anglican Church Gayndah Qld. Designs by Jennifer Andrews

Window designs for St Matthews Anglican Church, Gayndah Qld.

Close up of the Resurrection installation, designed in 1993.

Close up of the Conversion of St Matthew installation, designed in 2006.

The complete design including the Resurrection and Conversion of St Matthew installation, completed in 2008.