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Stained glass in Cathedral recovers its former glory

The Devlin-Plumber stained glass company has recently restored the window in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of St John’s Cathedral.

“Stone-carvers, stone-masons, and window workers have been in chipping away, so the Cathedral felt very mediaeval,” said Fr Simon Davies. “We rarely get to see these things up close. However, the restoration work has revealed a great amount of detail and colour.

“Like all our windows, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel window shows a mixture of typic Old Testament scenes looking forward to Christ, his Church, and the Sacraments. We see God raining down manna from heaven; Joseph distributing wheat in the famine of Egypt; Elijah eating the cakes made by the widow and her son.

“The faces show great detail. We can see also the revealed shades of colour, especially the reds, blues and yellows. Each window is made of tiny pieces of glass, carefully cleaned and restored to their proper places. Some pieces were intentionally aged when created, to avoid them appearing gaudy.

“All the windows in the Cathedral Church are Hardman-Powell. We understand that we are one of the few churches in the country whose windows are entirely Hardman-Powell.

The windows – which are glass set into lead – are essentially sandwiched between two metal frames, both of which are set deep into the wall (one outside, one inside). The glass-lead panes are set between these two frames, and then tied on with metal wire.”

The ongoing restoration work in the Cathedral is entirely sponsored by private persons and groups. There are three other windows in the Cathedral that currently need restoring and cleaning. If you would like to become a benefactor of these works, please speak with any of the priests. The glass restorer has assured the Cathedral that this restored work will – barring any tragedies – last for many centuries.

Pictured above are Fr Simon Davies and Cathedral architect Suzi Pendlebury inspecting the newly restored window in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.