Some time ago, idly browsing digitised newspapers on Trove, I noticed a reference to a stained-glass memorial window at St Peter’s Church Glenelg in memory of my great great grandparents James Francis Cudmore (1837 – 1912) and Margaret Cudmore née Budge (1845 – 1912).

Last week, in Adelaide for a short holiday, we drove to Glenelg and had a look.

St Peters Glenelg West Window 20191030

The West Window – the left hand light is in memory of James Francis Cudmore and his wife Margaret who both died in 1912. It shows the Raising of the Widow’s Son.

Cudmore window unveiling 1915

CONCERNING PEOPLE. (1915, August 16). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 4. Retrieved from

The left light (panel) of the window, unveiled in August 1915, depicts the story of Jesus raising the son of the widow of Nain from the dead. The episode is recorded in the Gospel of  Luke 7:11–17. Nain was a small village, a day’s walk from Nazareth.

11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.

12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a
dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.

13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.

15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

The subject of the west window is Jesus’ triumph over death. It has three lights, depicting His three resurrection miracles. The others show the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the raising of Lazarus.

The church of St Peter’s at Glenelg is on land set aside by Colonel Light in 1839. The first church of St Peter’s was built in 1852. In 1880 the first church was demolished to make way for a larger structure. Its foundation stone was laid 18 January 1881, with the new building consecrated 19 May 1883.

The architect of the 1881 building was Edmund Wright, who also designed the Adelaide Town Hall in 1863, the Adelaide Post Office in 1866, and the South Australian Parliament House in 1874. He also worked on Paringa Hall, a house built for James Francis Cudmore between 1880 and 1882 at Somerton, South Australia, a few kilometres south of St Peter’s Church.

The first record I have found in the digitised newspapers of the Cudmore involvement with St Peter’s was a report in the Adelaide Evening Journal of 1 February 1883: “We understand that a liberal offer has been made by Mr. J. F. Cudmore (in addition to previous gifts) to have the internal plastering of the building [St Peter’s Church, Glenelg] executed at his expense.” The report of the consecration of the new building in May 1883 included a mention that J.F. Cudmore was on the building committee.

In July 1883 the South Australian Register reported “Two very handsome gas standards, about eight feet high and containing seven lights, have been presented to the Church by Mrs. J. F. Cudmore. The lower part of each is nicely designed and supports a spiral brass standard carrying an elegant crown of jets. These additions to the Church are very handsome indeed, and with the memorial window enhance the effect of the interior arrangements, which are in themselves in thorough good taste.”

In the evening of 27 December 1883 and on the following day a bazaar in aid of the church was held. The Advertiser reported :

The stalls, four in number, exclusive of a Christmas tree and the inevitable bran pie, were very nicely arranged under the management of Mr. J. F. Cudmore, and were covered with articles of use or ornament. The ladies who presided were Mesdames Cudmore and Winnall at one, the Misses Bonnin at another, Mesdames Simms and Ferguson at the third ; and Mrs. West and the Misses Phillipson at the fourth. The Christmas tree was under the supervision of Mrs. Fisher, and the bran pie under that of the Misses Young, whilst Mrs. Douglas managed the refreshment stall. A considerable number of visitors were present during the evening, and the stalls were very well patronised …

So it appears that my great great grandparents did not merely attend St Peter’s Church. They were active members of the congregation.

In July 1889, Mrs Cudmore was helping with the annual social and an associated sale of goods. In October 1891 Mrs J.F. Cudmore was in charge of a Fancy stall when the ladies of St Peter’s Church held a Jumble Sale to wipe off the debt of the Church mission-room.

There was a large attendance at a dramatic and musical entertainment in August 1893 at St Peter’s schoolroom. Among the performers Miss Rosa Cudmore was reported as making a very pretty page boy and there was a piano duet by the Misses Cudmore. James Francis and Margaret Cudmore had 13 children including 7 daughters, 2 of whom died young. Rosa was born 1879 and about 14 years old in 1893. Her two older sisters were Violet born 1872 and Dorothea born 1876 and perhaps they were the pianists.

At the 1894 annual strawberry fete in aid of St Peter’s Church there was a good trade reported at the refreshment stall conducted by Mrs R. Smith, the Mayoress, and Mrs Cudmore, assisted by a large number of young ladies.

In 1896 Mrs J.F. Cudmore was on the committee to raise funds to renovate the schoolhouse. At a fundraising ball Mrs Cudmore was in the first set of lancers with Mr W. Bickford. [William Bickford 1841 – 1916 was the father of Reginald Bickford 1880 – 1945 who married Rosa Cudmore in 1910.]

In 1899 Mr J. F. Cudmore was reported as being on the committee to organise additions to the church.

In 1904 Mrs J.F. Cudmore was one of five seatholders selected to act in conjunction with the trustees and the Bishop of Adelaide to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the Rev. Canon Green.

In 1907 Alexandrina Budge Cudmore (1882 – 1942), fifth daughter of James and Margaret, married Hugh Crawford at St Peter’s Church Glenelg. In 1910 Rosa Cudmore (1879 – 1954) married Reginald Bickford at St Peter’s and later the same year Dan Cudmore (1881 – 1966) married Kathleen Pile at the same church. The following year in 1911 Mary Paringa Cudmore (1887 – 1952), their youngest daughter, married Arthur Toll at St Peter’s.

Both James Francis Cudmore and his wife Margaret died in 1912 within 5 months of each other. In 1913, in accordance with the wishes of the late Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Cudmore, of “Paringa Hall,” a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” was presented to St. Peter’s Church, Glenelg. The painting is by an Italian artist, Giovanni Grinaschi [Grignaschi]  (1839 – 1905) who seems to have produced a number of versions of this copy. The Cudmores are said to have bought the painting from the artist in Milan in 1890.

St Peters Glenelg Last Supper 20191030

“Last Supper” painting

The painting is still hanging in the church accompanied by a plaque inscribed “To the Glory of God and loving memory of JAMES FRANCIS CUDMORE of Paringa Hall, Glenelg, who died 17th August 1912 and MARGARET his wife, who died 1st December 1912”.

St Peters Glenelg altar 20191030

Looking towards the altar with the “Last Supper” on the left