AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH, SOUTHEND ON SEA, ESSEX
This set of 4no. 2-light windows was set into the East elevation of the church, once the organ and choir pews had been removed. The entire building was reordered to allow for an ever-growing congregation which also required the replacement of the Baptistry Pool. This was decorated by Paul Siggins of the Mosaic Studio, Southend, Essex and is a stunning centre piece for the new interior. The themes for the windows are ‘Creation & Trinity’, ‘Easter & Pentecost’, Baptism & Communion’ and ‘Mission, Justice & Peace’. Each window is colour coded to reflect its theme and the figurative elements were made large enough to be clear from ground level. There was much collaboration between us and the design team from the church, who had a refreshing modernity about their ideas. Particular design elements were carried through from the mosaic into the windows to tie the two together. The reordering of the interior brought about the replacement of the original metal balcony for clear glass, which reflects the stained glass windows in all directions as well as bathing the new large stage area in rainbows on sunny mornings.
St. CATHERINE’S CHURCH, EAST TILBURY, ESSEX
Our brief for this design was simple: “Lots of light and a Celtic Cross”. This was a dream of a project as we had artistic licence with a large lancet window – 3’ x 8’. Its location high in the West wall did not lend itself to small details so every element was made large. As a millennium project, the Christian Millennium motto was emblazoned from the Cross reaching out of the confines of the window. The elements of water and fire flank the Cross, representing renewal, purification and Baptism; the cluster of 3 triangular bevels represent The Holy Trinity and the canon balls refer to the damage caused to the building by the Spanish Armada that cruised up the Thames, only a matter of metres from the church. The Crown of Thorns breaks up the plane of the white ichthus symbol.
MONTANA CARE HOME, GREAT BARTON
Quite a large commission, comprising 6 windows, every window of the chapel except one small one. Details
PIER HILL, SOUTHEND, ESSEX
East elevation of the South Transept.
This window is in memory of a lady who was a very active member of the church for 40 odd years. During my discussions with the churchwarden, I found out that she was responsible for the flower arrangements, with which she was somewhat of a professional, and so it is this theme around which the design is based. The floral tribute is confined to the plants and flowers that Joan may well have included in her displays for the various annual and liturgical seasons of the church, and for the services associated with church events, such as Weddings and Christenings etc:- TULIP = Spring and Easter SUNFLOWER = Summer and Weddings WHEAT & PUMPKIN = Autumn and Harvest Festival The plant life in the borders are:- IVY & HOLLY SPRIG = Christmas GRAPE VINE = Wine for Christ’s blood taken at Holy Communion POPPY = Remembrance I included her favourite flower that she would often place in her displays, that carried a special significance for her – the Nerine. We never knew why this was, but I placed it centre stage instead of tucking it in discretely, as she would have done in many of her arrangements.
BURNT OAK, EDGEWARE
The two top single-light windows are located high up, either side of the Altar.
The one on the top left is of The Holy Spirit, the one on the right is The Blessed Sacrament. (More information on the two lower - St James and Black Madonna can be found on the link below.)
Both messages are simple and timeless:
The Blessed Sacrament - The Chalice and Wafer occupy the bottom section, with the Crown of Thorns surrounding the Wafer. The remainder of the window shows The Vine, with the leaves and grapes curling around each other, representing the Wine, and blood of Christ. The area on which the Chalice sits is spotted with the blue of water, fading into the red of the wine as it nears the Chalice. This references Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the Wedding Feast at Cana. The Crown of Thorns around the wafer reminds us of Christ’s suffering on The Cross. His words during the last Passover before His death were ‘Do this is remembrance of me’ as he broke the bread and poured the wine, describing them as His flesh and blood.
The Holy Spirit - It is this act of remembrance that ties in this design with its Holy Spirit neighbour, as it was only a matter of 50 days after His ascension that the apostles gathered and encountered The Dove bringing the tongues of flames that are shown in the design. The Holy Spirit is also a spiritual guide in times of need and the Dove, a symbol of peace, since it brought back an olive twig after The Flood, for which Noah built the Ark. More Detail
St. MARY’S CHURCH, RAMSDEN BELLHOUSE, ESSEX
This single-light window was originally going to contain The Good Shepherd, though more as a design exercise to match the Lamb of God window the other side of the North Door than to enhance spiritual enlightenment. Thankfully it was decided to dedicate this to the new millennium and, therefore, a new design. In view of this new attitude, the design was meant to show the Grace of God and Christian Fellowship reaching outwards from the confines of the building to the immediate community and beyond – as illustrated by The Cross breaking through the window. If people were ready to receive His love, they would receive the gifts of creation which are shown emanating from the bottom of the Cross into the hands that are ready to receive.
St. AUGUSTINE'S CHURCH, BIRDBROOK, ESSEX
During WWII an American Bomber came down in a field near Birdbrook, Essex and a connection between Birdbrook and the American Air Force has remained ever since. The event is subtly reflected in the field of Poppies on which a group of children are dancing. Along with the local wild life and agriculture illustrated throughout the design, there is a sense of continuity and renewal of life after death. This is emphasised by the rainbow illustrating God’s Promise of hope after The Flood.
ST PETERS CHURCH, NEVENDON
South elevation of the Nave.
This design is in memory of Arthur Hawkings, churchwarden of St.Peter's. The design is based on the biblical quotation from Luke 13: 1-9. This reference is inscribed in one of the clods of earth that surround the fig tree the man is tending. The church bells, and their frame at the top, emanate from the clouds, and the pull ropes hang down, leading the eye through the dedication, to the bottom where they rest against the amber borders. The male figure digging at the base of the tree is set against concentric rings of warm light from the setting sun, indicating the natural conclusion to a full and productive life.
St. MARY THE VIRGIN CHURCH, SALCOTT-CUM-VIRLEY
This design was for ’The Great Jubilee A.D 2000’ and supplied by The Church. Our job was to place it into the lower section of a window in the north West corner. As a technical exercise, it was very interesting and required much consideration. The entire circle consists of 2 pieces of glass plated together – one red and one blue. Layers of colour are acid-etched away and silver stain applied to achieve the 5 colours of the interlocking doves at the centre. The precise lettering was achieved by sand blasting.
OUR LADY & St. JOSEPH CHURCH, STANFORD-LE-HOPE
Two clients were looking for a way of commemorating their families and to embellish this fairly new low level building. The designs were for the north wall of the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament; one depicting ’Penance’, the other ‘Communion’. As the 2 were to sit side by side, they had to harmonize design wise as well and with colour and texture. Unfortunately, they were not large enough to include inscriptions, but these can always be set elsewhere in a written church guide or on a dedication plaque fixed to the wall nearby.
St. FRANCIS, BARKINGSIDE, LONDON
Divided into 4 quadrants by concrete pillars, this circular window sits high above the Altar and was originally glazed with a streaky yellow glass. The new design had to be bold and clear to be seen from a distance and justify its position at the Altar. The Vicar was keen to relate the window to the comings and goings of church life and so it was decided to suggest the services that took place at the Altar. The centre of small glass blobs is to indicate the beginnings of life as cells divide to create a baby which thus leads to its Christening. As the child becomes an adult it chooses a mate and marries, hence the ‘Band of Gold’. The lower 2 quadrants represent the waters of baptism whilst the top 2 quadrants lead our ascent into Heaven at the end of life.
St. MARYS, GREAT WARLEY
This outstanding church was built and decorated as a complete project in the Art Nouveau style by architect Harrison Townsend and artist Reynolds Stephens from 1902-4. All the interior décor was designed as a cohesive scheme but, sadly, a WWII bomb destroyed 10 of the windows in the church including these 2 of the South side. Eight of these were replaced by windows made by various studios including Powells of Whitechapel, which, sadly, were not in keeping with the style of the original scheme. The 2 others were left unreplaced and so it was our job to recreate these 2 single lancets in the style of an artist as yet unknown to us. In a ‘The Studio Magazine 1912’, Peter Cormack of the William Morris Gallery, London found some of the original designs by George Heywood Sumner that were intended for this church. Two were selected and we set about viewing other windows Sumner had made. His particular subtle colouring required study and the glass he had used was all but extinct. A few ‘happy accidents’ with the acid brought forth some good results that enabled the clear background glass to be matched very well. It was an intensive project that took the PCC 2 years to bring to fruition.
St. MARY’S CHURCH, CORRINGHAM
Sadly, this window was designed for the churchwarden who was overseeing the project. We were presented with his initial ideas which we then expanded on. We ‘opened up’ the plane of the window in preference to breaking it down into smaller sections as we decided the centre light should not be visually unconnected from those either side. This gave a lightness to the design as well as letting light into the building.
St. MARY’S CHURCH, LITTLE CANFIELD
This internal stone aperture is very elaborate in design and was never intended to hold glass. The stone mouldings were many and it was tricky enough just deciding which of these to use as a glazing groove for the glass, let alone how to make the leaded panels fit. We took careful and precise templates which resulted in a perfect fit for the many odd shaped panels. Some clever use of divisions meant we could follow the shapes accurately with the divisions being as invisible as possible. A grand technical feat !!