A new stained glass window design is now in situ, created in memory of Dr Colin Bibby and in thanksgiving for his life and work. The money that was raised in his memory have funded important restoration work on some of our windows, due to be completed in the coming two weeks – you can already see the amazing difference it has made.
The work involves re-leading and cleaning of five windows, identified as fragile and needing priority work, with each window removed, taken to a specialist glazier’s workshop, painstakingly re-leaded and returned to its original position. So far three of the five windows have been completed.
In thanksgiving for the fundraising achieved on behalf of the church in the last months of Dr Bibby’s life, we have integrated a stained glass design into one of the restored windows. The design is the unassuming and delightful Dartford Warbler, the bird which was the focus of Dr Bibby’s PhD research, and which, partly as a result of the impact of his work on their conservation, has increased in number 100-fold from the 1960s when there were just 12 pairs left in the UK.
We are honoured to be marking his contributions – to both the church and the natural world – with a stained glass window design that will be seen and loved by generations to come, and serve as an inspiration to us all now in our own calling to be ‘stewards’, to use the biblical term, of the beautiful and delicate world in which we live.
You can read more of the story behind this project in the official Faculty Proposal (pdf) – projects like this require what is called a ‘Faculty’, an official permission granted by a court of law. It’s a process that takes some months and we were delighted to receive the court’s seal of approval in time to insert the design while the window was being restored.
Finally, we would like to pay tribute to Colin Bibby’s widow and sons for their patience and grace over the years leading up to this moment. As a church we are immensely grateful to them, and to those who responded to the original fundraising appeal that brought this ambitious and rewarding project within our reach.
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