ST EDWARD's Church History

St Edward's East Window

The East Window was given in memory of Ada Cox by her husband William and children Irene, Phyllis, Geoffrey and Ronald (known as Ronnie). William and Ada were very much involved in the life of St Edward’s Church from the very beginning, in the days of the original iron church (1915-1919).

The main lights of the window illustrate the Nativity of Christ with the Star of Bethlem (left), the Resurrection including the Risen Lord holding the Cross (centre), and the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, with John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove (right). The tracery above includes the coats of arms of the mission stations of the Universities' Mission to Centra Africa: Zanzibar, Nyasaland (now Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Masasi. At the top, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending.

Both Geoffrey and Ronnie attended Cardiff High School where Ronnie was a keen rugby player.  After school Ronnie became a clerk but in time he felt the calling of the church.  He was ordained in 1941.

Ordination of Fr Ronald Cox: William, Ronald, Ada and Geoffrey.

After serving his curacy in Gorton, Manchester, Father Cox, as he was known, offered himself to the missionary society founded by David Livingstone, the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, following in the footsteps of Bishop Charles Alan Smythies (1844-1894), one time Vicar of Roath. In 1944 Fr Cox was posted to the Diocese of Masasi (hence the arms in the top panels of the window) where he remained until 1972.  He was a larger than life presence in all his missionary work.  He worked closely with Bishop Trevor Huddleston who was Bishop of Masasi at the time who said of him “I can’t imagine I would have achieved anything without him. He was a ‘Jack of all trades’ and a master of each one”.  He built schools and hospitals as well as a new Theological Training College. 

Even after he returned to the UK and became the incumbent of Ermington in Devon Fr Cox continued to work tirelessly for Tanzania. The charity he set up shortly before his death in 1991, Friends of Masasi and Newala still runs today raising money for education and to alleviate poverty.  St Edward’s Church was active in supporting the mission in Masasi and Fr Cox occasionally preached at the church on his visits to Cardiff.

From Roath Parish Magazine, Vol.71, No.8. August 1951