Active: late 1800s. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Although Atkinson Bros. were a well-known firm in the north-east of England, few windows appear to have been imported to Australia. At St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Burwood, NSW, they were commissioned to provide a stained glass window in memory of the late Very Reverend Dean McCarthy, parish priest, who died after a railway accident at Redfern on October 31, 1894.
Cardinal-Archbishop Moran, of Sydney, unveiled the window after the close of 11 o’clock Mass on Sunday, September 5, 1897. The large three-light window was erected at the eastern end of the building, and the subject was the Crucifixion, at a cost of 120 pounds. At the same time, brass communion rails were installed as part of the memorial and these were supplied by Castle & Sons of Newtown, at a cost of 45 pounds.
At this time (Jan 2016) these are the only known windows by Atkinson Bros. in Australia, and are still extant, having been incorporated into a new St. Mary’s Church, Concord, NSW, to accommodate a larger congregation. The church was blessed by Archbishop Michael Kelly in 1929. The windows were extended and the format changed from Gothic lancets to round-headed windows, in keeping with the style of the new church. This work was carried out by John Radecki.
References: Evening News, September 6, 1897, p. 7.
Acknowledgement: The editors thank Jeffrey Hamilton for his information regarding this installation.
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Thank you Bronwyn for the credit. It was a lightbulb moment when you visited St Mary’s Concord with me and deduced the original Gothic-arched nature of the windows from the truncated decoration.