In November 2016 the awnings outside were replaced thanks to the support of a donor. During the replacement a limestone carving above the courtyard door was exposed to light for the first in many years. We wanted to share this history from the archives to help tell the story of the limestone carving.
John W. and Emmeline Quayle were among the first members of St. John's; both were born on the Isle of Man in the British Isles. John W. Quayle was a master stone carver and came with others to Bedford at the height of the limestone industry. In 1905 when St. John's was built, he created and donated the carving above the courtyard door. An awning has protected the carving from the elements and deterioration for years. Recently when the awnings at St. John's were being replaced, the carving was briefly exposed to the sunlight in all of its beauty.
Emmeline Quayle died in 1917 and her husband bought a stained glass window, which is in the chancel by the altar, in her memory. He also made their family gravestone, which is at the Greenhill Cemetery, Bedford.
The 1924 Twenty Yearbook Anniversary Yearbook features the courtyard doorway.