This post kicks off the church blog covering news, updates and other information from the Hibiscus Coast Presbyterian Church situated some 40 km north of Auckland City, on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. You can find out more about us by visiting our website: www.hibiscuscoastpresbyterian.org.nz .
If you look at our website, you will see a copy of this image of a stained glass window in the top left hand corner of the web page. This stained glass window is in our church at 48 Waiora Road, Stanmore Bay. The window is a memorial to the McGlashan family and was donated by the family. The window was made by Geoffrey Douglas. It was dedicated on 14 March 1993 by Bain McGlashan, who played an active part in the relocation and reconstruction of the church at Stanmore Bay. You can read about the relocation and reconstruction in our church history Presbyterians on the Hibiscus Coast. In a fitting coincidence, Bain died recently on 14 March 2013 exactly 20 years to the day after the dedication of the window.
The window has an abstract theme with the centrepiece being a large red cross, which speaks of the “unqualified, universal love” of God. The various shades of blue in upper section of the window represent the changing patterns of the sky on the Hibiscus Coast. The blue, dark green and brown segments below the horizontal arm of the cross call to mind the interplay of the sea and the land, which is such a feature of the Hibiscus Coast. The abstract pattern of the stained glass allows the window to capture the changing light patterns and moods of the day. The different shapes of the stained glass that make up the window “represent life’s varieties and peoples vagaries in simple shape and colour contrasts” (Bain McGlashan, 14 March 1993).
The choice of an image of this window as a linking image on our church website seemed an appropriate way of capturing the many dimensions of the Hibiscus Coast with its strong links of land, sea and sky. The cross fittingly serves as a continuing reminder that it is, in this particular place, that we are called in the first instance to love God and love our neighbour. The steel strengthening at the junction of the horizontal and vertical arms of the cross also provides a likeness of the cross of St. Andrew, whose name our churches at Stanmore Bay and Orewa carry. The image also stands as a symbol of the faith contributions many have made to the life of the communities on the Hibiscus Coast.