The Fruiterers window

  • Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. (Genesis 3:1–7, NRSV)

The one small area of stained glass in the largest of the windows represents the Fruiterers’ Company, which has a historic connection with the church. The image is taken from the story of the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis, in which the serpent tempts Eve with fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She eats it, and offers it to Adam, who eats it as well. The story does not name the fruit, but here it is represented by an apple, as it often is. Whether apples grew in the area in which the story originated is doubtful, but the choice of fruit is entirely appropriate to the English fruit growers who founded the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers. 

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