All Saints' and St. Nicholas' Churches
Church of England
Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London E14
Icon of St. Nicholas
Icon of the transfiguration
Icon of the Resurrection
Icons at St Nicks'
The Icons at St. Nick's
There are 4 icons at St Nicholas, all painted by Michael Coles.
1 Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, C AD 326, patron protector of children and sailors
2 The Transfiguration of Jesus
3 The Resurrection of Christ
4 The Madonna and Child
The design is based on incidents in the Saint’s life as recorded in the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine. St. Nicholas is shown vested as a bishop holding the Aberfeldy Street Church in his arm. With his other hand he holds the Bishop’s crosier, his symbol of office. At the base of the design can be seen the once familiar symbol of the pawnbroker’s three golden balls, commemorating the gold coins St. Nicholas left at night at the home of an impoverished nobleman, thereby enabling him to provide a dowry for each of his three daughters. Above, protected by the Saint, are shown the three boys who during a great famine had been butchered by an evil innkeeper, but by the intercession of St. Nicholas were happily restored to life. The upper part of the design depicts the city of Myra in Asia Minor. St. Nicholas is at prayer in his cathedral while, at the same time, miraculously appears to answer the prayers of some storm-tossed sailors, by stilling the storm that threatened to overwhelm their ship.
Icon of the Transfiguration
This Icon has been commissioned to commemorate the re-opening and revival of St. Nicholas Church after thirty years of closure and secular use 1968-1998.
The design depicts the event in our Lord’s life as recorded in the gospels of:
Matthew ch.17: 1-8
Mark ch.9: 2-8
Luke ch.9: 28-36
and in 2 Peter ch.1: 16-18.
Christ is shown bathed in the uncreated light of Mount Tabor, with Moses and Elijah kneeling at his feet. They both carry their appropriate symbols, Moses the Tablets of the Law, Elijah his raven. At the base of the design are the three apostles chosen to witness the event, Peter, James and John.
Icon of the Resurrection
Christ rises triumphantly from the Tomb, one hand raised in blessing, the other holding the banner of the Resurrection. On the banner is the inscription ‘IC XC NIKA’ (‘Jesus Christ conquers’). The base of the design shows the Angel in white robes as described in St. Mark’s gospel, chapter 16.
Icon of the Madonna and Child
This Icon is a memorial to the late Daphne May Coles, Fellow of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the artist’s sister.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is shown with her divine Son, who has his hand raised in blessing. Clustering around them are some of the wild birds found in many London gardens. They are shown on a branch of the white flowering shrub Daphne Mezereum.
Inscription at the base of the panel: ‘In loving memory of Daphne May Coles, FRSPB 1924-2003. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.’
The birds depicted from left to right are: two wrens, two blue tits, two goldfinch, a robin, a great tit and two London sparrows.