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Plans for memorial window take step forward

Friday, 05 April 2013


The creation of a permanent memorial to one of Wales’ most charismatic priests has taken a step closer with the announcement of the shortlist of three designers bidding to create a stained glass window in memory of the Very Rev’d Jeremy Winston.
Twenty four fellows and associates of the British Society of Master Glass Painters responded to the challenge of creating a representation of a Jesse Tree for St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny, in what will be one of the most important stained glass windows in Wales since the end of the Second World War.
After a rigorous review of their proposals, the appeal trustees selected the three designers who they considered best suited to the particular circumstances of St Mary’s. They are:
Caroline Benyon - Caroline served an apprenticeship with her father, the Stained Glass artist Carl Edwards, painting his design for the Great West Window of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. She is a Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, an accredited conservator & restorer (ICON Institute of Conservation), the present Chairman of the BSMGP, and a member of the Court of Assistants of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers.
Benjamin Finn - Benjamin is based in a Friends of Friendless Churches church producing new stained glass works for churches, houses, schools and for exhibition, and repairing and restoring glass in the East Anglian region.
Helen Whittaker - Helen has won several awards including a commission through the Stevens Competition run by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. Helen is a visiting tutor for the Prince of Wales' School of Traditional Arts. Her MA thesis was on Jesse Trees.
"It was very difficult to draw up the shortlist because of the quality of the proposals," said Fr Mark Soady, successor to Fr Jeremy Winston as Vicar of Abergavenny.
"But our chosen designers will now be able to take the project to the next stage, producing a design sketch by mid-July. From that we will make our final choice design for the window, which we then hope will be completed by the summer of 2014".
The window will depict the ancestry of Christ, taking as its starting point the huge 15th century carved wooden figure of Jesse, the father of David, which is one of the most important pieces of wooden sculpture in Europe.
The cost of the window will depend on the final design but, through local fundraising and grants, the appeal is estimated to have reached about 70 per cent of the amount needed.
"We've raised £24,000 from local events,” said Fr Mark. "It's a magnificent effort for which we're very grateful and we now need to make the final push for the remainder of the money.
"The window will provide a fitting memorial to my predecessor and will be much more than a work of art as we will be able to incorporate it into the prayer life of the church, and use it for Bible study and so much more", he added.

All content © of Abergavenny Chronicle unless stated otherwise.



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