St. Alban the Martyr

The Station of the Cross

Our set of stations were carved to order over five years from 1914 to 1919 to replace an earlier set. We do not know who carved them. The first stations carved cost £10, but costs rose during the First World War, and the last cost £12 10s. 

We hope to replace some of the pictures of the stations below with better ones when we are able to do so.

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned

This station shows Jesus being led away by soldiers acros the pavement after he has been condemned by Pontius Pilate, who is seen washing his hands in the upper right, as his wife leans over his shoulder warning him that she was troubled about Jesus in a dream. A tiny angel hovers above the shoulder of Jesus.

The plaque below the picture reads:

Howard Taylor Ratcliff,
25 Years Churchwarden
February 16th 1909 R.I.P.

The Second Station: Jesus Receives His Cross

This station shows the cross laid on the shoulder of Jesus, who must carry it to his place of execution at Calvary.

The plaque beneath reads:

Pray for the Soul of
Robert Underhill
March 16th 1902

Born on the 18th of May 1884, Robert William Hercules Underhill (also recorded as William Robert Hercules Underhill) is buried in the churchyard of St Mary's Moseley. He was the son of Francis William Underhill, vicar of St Alban's 1911-1923, who presumably gave this Station.

The Third Station: Jesus Falls to the Ground

This station depicts the first of three times that Jesus, already weakened by a flogging, will fall beneath the weight of his cross.

The plaque beneath reads:

Janet Minshull
April 20th 1914
R.I.P.

This was the first station to be erected. It was paid for from a donation sent to Fr Underghill, the vicar, to use as he saw fit by a former pupil of Miss Minshall.

The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

This station shows Jesus meeting his mother on the way to Calvary.

The plaque beneath reads:

Emma Ker
October 1st 1913
R.I.P.

The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus

This station shows Simon of Cyrene, who was compelled to assist in carrying the cross behind Jesus. Although Cyrene was in North Africa, it was a Greek city with a substantial Jewish population who had been forcibly settled there by the Ptolomaic rulers of Egypt. Simon's name suggests that he was Jewish, perhaps visiting Jerusalem for the Passover.

The plaque beneath reads:

In Memory of
Chales Harwood
Churchwarden of this Church
at Rest Good Friday 1916

The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

This station shows an incident not found in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, in which Veronica (or Berenike) wipes the sweat and blood from the face of Jesus with a cloth, which becomes imprinted with the image of his face.

The plaque beneath reads:

Helen Mildred Ball
Emily Mary Goldthorpe
R.I.P.

The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls Again

The plaque beneath reads:

In Memory of
Robert and Annie Cockeram
and Sarah Ball

The Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem

St Luke records that Jesus told women who were following him weeping to weep instead for themselves and their children because of what was to happen in the future.

The plaque beneath reads:

Theodosia Sargant
Christmas Day 1914
R.I.P.

The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls a Third Time

The plaque beneath reads:

In Thanksgiving
for 30 Years Blessing
at St Alban's

The Ninth and Tenth Stations were the last to be made, as reported in S. Alban's Magazine for April 1919. Unlike the others, which seem to be carved on single panels of wood, both of these were carved on two panels, which have separated slightly as the wood has expanded and contracted with changes in humidity. This may have been due to a shortage of good timber at the end of the First World War. The same article in the magazine reports that the brass plaques for some ot the other Stations were still to be made due to shortage of both metal and labour.

The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped

Jesus has reached the place of execution and is stripped of his clothing, for which the soldiers will cast lots while he hangs in agony.

The plaque beneath reads:

George Prinn
March 13th 1890
R.I.P.

Like the Ninth Station, this Tenth is carved on two boards, which have separated.

The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

The plaque beneath reads:

In Thanksgiving
for 30 Years Blessing
at St Alban's

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

On either side of the cross stand Mary, the mother of Jesus, and St John, to whose care Jesus has commended her.

The plaque beneath reads:

Marienne Elizabeth
Ratcliff.
Entered into Rest
July 15th 1910

The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Here the body of Jesus is taken down from the cross by Joesph of Arimathea, assisted by St John and Mary of Magdela, and laid in the lap of his mother.

The plaque beneath reads:

Jane Morris
March 14th 1908
R.I.P.

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

The plaque beneath reads:

In Memory of
Charles
and
Hannah Hardy
R.I.P.


This page is part of our project "Revealing St Alban's Hidden Heritage" supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.