The churchwarden, David Lanning has done some research into the stained glass windows:
Comper Windows on the North Side of the Church
John Ninian Comper was born in Aberdeen on 10 June 1864, the eldest of the five children of the Reverend John Comper, Rector of St John's Episcopal Church, and his wife, Ellen, daughter of John Taylor, Merchant of Hull.
Comper was educated as a small boy at a prep school in Aberdeen, moving as a boarder in 1874 to Trinity College, Glenamond, where he won many prizes. In 1880, at the age of 16, he had a nervous breakdown, and left later that year, bringing to an end his parents' fervent hope that he would read for holy orders.
He began to draw at the Aberdeen School of Art. His rapidly increasing gifts were recognised by a family friend, Fr George Congreve, of the Society of St John the Evangelist, Cowley, who arranged for Comper to study for a term at the Ruskin School, Oxford while living with the Cowley Fathers. In 1882 he worked for 6 months studying glass-painting when he expressed a desire to become a church decorator; the work coming to an end due to the fact that he was being used as an unpaid draughtsman.
He then began work in 1883 as an articled pupil for George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner. These men were the leading church architects of the last quarter of the 19th century bringing the Gothic Revival to a breathtaking point of refinement and perfection. William Bucknall also worked there, with whom he later went into Partnership in 1888.
In 1890 Comper married Grace, the younger sister of his partner, William Bucknall. They had four sons, the eldest, Sebastian, followed in the steps of his father, and became an architect - and two daughters. His wife, Grace, died 1933.
A remarkably flamboyant Anglo-catholic architect and designer He was one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects, his work concentrating on churches and their contents. He is well-known for his stained glass, his use of colour, and his subtle integration of Classical and Gothic styles. He had friendship with Sir John Betjeman, who championed his work with mixed results.
Although Comper was a Church architect, he designed only 15 churches. He was aware of the reliance on his partner for his share in their design, for it was Bucknall’s structural experience and skill which enabled Comper's ideas to be turned into reality: Comper's brilliance as a church furnisher was recognised from the beginning. The amount of work completed by Comper was extensive, and almost impossible to record.
In 1912 Comper moved to the Priory, 67 Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood. The enormous and greatly loved garden was filled with plants grown from cuttings brought back from his travels. The Priory remained his home until his death.
Comper established a study at 228 Knight's Hill, West Norwood, near to his own house at that time. The building had a coach house; the stables were turned into a glazier's shop, and a coke-fired kiln was built, with all the windows facing north. One window was specially designed to hoist panels of completed glass into a position convenient for viewing, and at this end the glass-painters worked. The rest of the building consisted essentially of a bench about 40 feet long [12 metres], also facing north, for drawing-boards. The remaining space (it was only 18 feet wide [5.5 metres]) was taken up by chests of drawers for keeping drawings, leaving room for Comper's desk and a bookshelf, and little else, except for a series of framed heraldic garter plates from one of St John Hope's monumental folios. The study was much to Comper's anger, compulsory purchased in 1946 and it was moved to the Priory. He regarded this as nothing less than confiscation of his property.
In 1950, at the age of 84, Comper received a knighthood. It was Betjeman who organised the testimonials.
He died on the 22nd December 1960 in The Hostel of God, now Trinity Hospice, in Clapham, London SW4. The Hostel was run by the Sisters of St Margaret from East Grinstead, the same Order that his father brought to Aberdeen to share his work in caring for the poor, and it was very appropriate that the Sisters of St Margaret were there to care for Ninian at the close of his earthly. Curiously, he died on the same day as his life-long companion and closest friend Arthur Bucknall.
Sir Ninian’s ashes were buried beneath the windows he designed in Westminster Abbey and where he had also been responsible for the design of the Warriors' Chapel.
Comper's unique signature can be seen in his windows (if you stand on your tiptoes). It's in its customary place at the bottom right of the window. His rather unusual signature of the strawberry is linked with his high regard for his father who demonstrated his great devotion to the poor in so many practical ways who died suddenly in the Duthie Park in Aberdeen, on the banks of the River Dee, while giving strawberries to poor children. What better memorial to his father .... the strawberry which can be seen in churches throughout the world!
In the course of seventy years Sir Ninian Comper was the architect responsible for fifteen churches; he restored and decorated scores of others; and he designed vestments, banners and windows in places as far apart as China, North America, France, India, and South Africa.
Our Comper Windows
On the North wall nearest the pulpit is a stained glass window “ In memory of Alfred Dyke Acland 19th August 1857- 22nd March 1937 and his wife Beatrice Danvers 18th Feb 1864- 4th Dec 1942” This depicts the Virgin Mary and St. John, the brother of Jesus.
Nearest the West door is the stained glass windows also by Comper remembering the men of the village who were killed in the Second World War.
They were Ernest Lovering, Paul Clifford, Frederick Wooley, and Gordon Channon.
This window was installed in 1945 depicting St. George and St. Michael.