Christ Church, Strathalbyn: Charity Window


This beautiful window represents Charity (or Love), one of the three “theological virtues”, Faith, Hope and Charity. There is also a “Faith” window in the church and all three virtues are depicted in the east windows at St Mary’s, Milang.

Katharine Gollan Gordon was born in 1854 in Stirling , Scotland and moved with her family to South Australia when quite young. Soon after they arrived she was adopted by her uncle and aunt, Mr & Mrs Donald Gollan and lived with them at their home, Burnside near Strathalbyn and with them attended St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Strathalbyn.

She married Dr William Blue in 1872 and became an active member of the congregation at Christ Church, Strathalbyn. They had three sons and one daughter.

Dr Blue died in 1896 at Hahndorf and Katharine subsequently in 1898 married Samuel James Way the Chief Justice of South Australia. Her new husband was also Chancellor of the University, a Privy Councillor and the Lieutenant Governor and in 1899 was created a Baronet.

Katharine Gollan, Lady Way
Katharine Gollan, Lady Way

As Lady Way her new home was Montefiore in North Adelaide and she was deeply involved in a number of charitable and other organizations including Mothers’ Union and G.F.S.. However she always maintained her links with Strathalbyn and kept in touch with her old friends.

Katharine died at Montefiore in 1914 and was buried in West Terrace Cemetery.

The window is the work of Archibald John Davies (1877-1953), a stained glass artist who was associated with the Bromsgrove Guild in the English West Midlands. His work is found in many churches and other buildings in England as well as Canada and South Africa but I have not found any information of other examples in Australia.