Laurence was a Roman Deacon to Pope Sixtus II, who lived in the 3rd Century. The story goes that Pope Sixtus II was put to death during the persecutions of the Emperor Valerian. Laurence, convinced he would follow suit, felt he had one task left. He gathered together all the widows and orphans he could find and gave them all he possessed. He sold much of the Church’s gold and silver, handing the money over to the needy.
At this time many people believed the Church was very wealthy because early Christians shared their possessions. The Prefect of Rome summoned Laurence to him and said he wished him to turn over to the authorities all the wealth of the Church.
Laurence agreed. He assembled lepers, the blind, the sick, the poor, widows, orphans and the aged. He took them to the Prefect saying “Behold the treasures of the Church. The Church is truly rich, far richer than your Emperor”. The Prefect did not share Laurence’s interpretation of treasures and had him roasted alive over a gridiron.
The East window shows Laurence with the treasures of the Church, holding his gridiron. The prefect is shown on the right of the window dressed in purple.
The text and photo in this section were originally shown in the booklet "Welcome to Snaith Priory" prepared by Helen Miley.