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As a child I attended a Church of England primary school, the only primary school in the place where I grew up. Consequently I came to know more Bible stories than if I had gone to a non-denominational school. Like many children I responded to these stories as a mixture of history and myth because some of the things that happened in them seemed highly unlikely. I also came to know the names of many Biblical characters and was fascinated by some of the more unusual names that I remember to this day.
The three men depicted in this stained glass by the Arts and Crafts artist, Edward Burne-Jones, have names that were odder than most. They are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, characters in a story about the prophet Daniel, who were thrown into a fiery furnace on the orders of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon and were saved by God, an act that much impressed the king. This glass, in the west window of the church at Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire, is the best of a particularly fine suite of glass made by William Morris' firm for the building between 1864 and 1870. The contraposto stance of the figures, the faces, the deep, rich colours and the semi-abstract depiction of the flames are all characteristic of Burne Jones, and the quality of the glass is typical of the Morris firm at its best.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (32mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.4
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On