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In the northeast corner of the Galilee Chapel is the Stella Maris Window, designed by Leonard Evetts from Woolsington, Newcastle.

Stella Maris is a name given to the Virgin Mary meaning ‘Star of the sea.’ She is believed to give protection at sea.

Interesting facts

  • As part of Durham Cathedral's 900th anniversary celebrations in 1993, The American Friends of Durham Cathedral donated the Stella Maris window.
  • The window’s fascinating two-part design shows Mary on the left. The right represents Jesus Christ’s ministry in Galilee, a mountainous region located in modern-day Northern Israel. Flowing through both windows and joining them together is the sea of Galilee. Two doves representing the Holy Spirit fly down from the sky.
  • Leonard Evetts (1909-1997) was in his eighties when he designed this window. He was awarded a Lambeth Doctorate by the Archbishop of Canterbury two years later in 1995.

Things to look for

Reading pictures

At the top of the left-hand windowpane are the Virgin Mary’s crowned initials. There are also two types of flowers shown, both traditionally associated with Mary. The central bunch of white Madonna lilies represents purity as does the white e cyclamen, but this also expresses her sorrows, as the red colour at the base of the flowers reminds us of the blood of Christ.In the middle of the right-hand windowpane, there is what looks like the letter P with an X going through it. 

This pattern forms the first two letters of Jesus Christ’s name in Greek. It is called a Chi-Rho symbol.

Below that is the image of a burning bush, from the Old Testament Book of Exodus in the Bible. In the story, Moses sees a burning bush that remains unharmed by the flames and speaks with the voice of God. This later became a symbol of God’s presence and, in medieval times, was sometimes linked to Mary, as through her God had become human.

At the base of the pane is the Thistle of Palestine which was used to make Jesus’ Crown of Thorns which was placed on his head at his crucifixion.

Follow the guided tour

You’re in: The Galilee Chapel You’re at: Stella Maris Window Next stop: Wall Paintings

  • Turn back around and look up to the celling
  • Look for the paintings above the archways