December 7 2013 Latest news:
Pictures: Bill Smith
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A rare and irreplaceable window is back where it belongs at a south Norfolk church after it was removed for emergency repair work last year.
The east window of the south aisle at St Mary the Virgin in Banham was removed in May 2012 after a survey revealed that it was in danger of collapsing.
But determined to preserve a valuable part of the church’s heritage, people in the village staged a mammoth fundraising effort and after collecting £14,500, the repaired window was installed on Thursday by Devlin and Plummer of Great Moulton.
Rector of Banham, David Hill, said: “It’s a Victorian window which has rare and irreplaceable glass. We understand that people aren’t able to make them like this any more. A couple of summers ago we noticed that the window was bulging and the lead was giving way.”
The window was removed and boarded up with wood while people set about fundraising.
The money was raised through a series of events, including concerts, and special donations.
“We received some very generous support from the community,” Mr Hill said.
“People donated money at the post office and we had gifts in memory of Roy Stanley and one of my predecessors.
“I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who helped us. Hopefully the window will be around for another few hundreds years.”
Mr Hill said the church was a community building and alongside being used for worship, it housed a youth cafe and a cinema.
The window is evidence of the early work of famous 19th Century stained glass artist Henry Holiday and uses specially etched and moulded glass, which is no longer made.
Henry Holiday was stained glass window designer at Powell’s Glass Works in London from 1861 to 1891. He fulfilled more than 300 commissions, mainly for American clients, which made the Banham window even more valuable.