The window (by Edward Frampton 1848-1929 who worked with Clayton & Bell) in the Services corridor pictures St. Hilda (or Hilda of Whitby) (c. 614–680) is a Christian Saint and the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby, which was chosen as the venue for the Synod of Whitby. An important figure in the Christianisation of Anglo-Saxon England, she was abbess at several monasteries and recognised for the wisdom that drew kings to her for advice. In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of Whitby Abbey, then known as Streoneshalh; she remained there until her death. Archaeological evidence shows that her monastery was in the Celtic style, with its members living in small houses, each for two or three people. The tradition in double monasteries, such as Hartlepool and Whitby, was that men and women lived separately but worshipped together in church. The exact location and size of the church associated with this monastery is unknown. Bede states that the original ideals of monasticism were maintained strictly in Hilda’s abbey. All property and goods were held in common; Christian virtues were exercised, especially peace and charity. Everyone had to study the Bible and do good works. The prestige of Whitby is reflected in the fact that King Oswiu of Northumberland chose Hilda’s monastery as the venue for the Synod of Whitby, the first synod of the Church in his kingdom. He invited churchmen from as far away as Wessex to attend the synod. Most of those present, including Hilda, accepted the King’s decision to adopt the method of calculating Easter currently used in Rome, establishing Roman practice as the norm in Northumbria. The monks from Lindisfarne, who would not accept this, withdrew to Iona, and later to Ireland
and St. Etheldra (c.636 – 23 June 679 AD) was an East Anglian princess, a Fenland and Northumbrian queen and Abbess of Ely. She is an Anglo-Saxon saint. Her father was King Anna of East Anglia, and siblings Wendreda and Seaxburh of Ely, both of whom eventually retired from secular life and founded abbeys.Etheldreda was the third and most celebrated of the saintly daughters of King Anna of East Anglia, by his wife, Saewara. Etheldreda was born at Exning in Suffolk, around AD 636, and was brought up in an atmosphere of piety. It was her ambition to be a nun like her sisters, but she was destined not to attain this goal until she had been twice married. In AD 652, she was given, against her will to, Tondbert, King of South Gyrwe, an East Anglian subkingdom in the Fens. As part of their marriage settlement, Tondbert gave his wife an estate then called Elge, and afterwards Ely. Tondbert, either respecting and sympathising with her monastic vocation or regarding her with indifference, allowed Etheldreda to live as a nun during the three years of their marriage.
In AD 660, for family reasons – probably to secure an alliance for the house of the Uffingas with the powerful Kingdom of Northumbria against the aggressive Mercians – she married Egfrith, the second son of Oswiu, King of Northumbria. At the time of his marriage, Egfrith was little more than a child. Etheldreda won his esteem and affection at once, and rapidly acquired a purifying and ennobling influence over him. He “held her as a thing enskied and sainted” Eventually in AD 673, Etheldreda built a large double monastery. She was made her abbess and gave the veil to her first nuns. Etheldreda ruled over her monastery for seven years, setting a great example of piety and abstinence and all other monastic virtues. Though such a great lady, and so delicately reared, she never wore any linen, but only rough woollen clothing.
The window is dedicated to the memory of the Catherine and Mary Hibberd.