IT survived two severe air raids during World War II and has been the backdrop for countless weddings, but now – after almost 100 years – the stained glass window at All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie will get a makeover.
This month the church launched a fundraising campaign to refurbish the ageing, five-panel window, with all money raised to go towards the $80,000 repair bill.
“We’ve raised about $10,000 from the community so far, and received $15,000 from the government; now we’re looking for around $50-60,000,” the church’s project manager Les Davey says.
“The work will go ahead either way so we’ll keep the fundraising going as long as we need to and what we don’t raise immediately we’ll cover with the lay [the congregation]. We’re confident we can raise the funds though, the Canberra community is very generous.”
Les says the window, created in 1917, was originally a memorial to servicemen and women of World War I in St Clement’s Church in Sheffield, England.
“The window survived two severe air raids on Sheffield in World War II, but St Clement’s suffered badly,” he says.
“When St Clement’s was demolished in 1963, the window was made available to All Saints, mainly through the efforts of the late Lady de L’Isle, wife of the then-Governor-General. It was dedicated here in 1967.”
The window features the crucified Christ, flanked by Mary, Mother of Jesus, and St John the Baptist, with many other depictions of angels and other saints in the intricate detail.
Les says the window will take about four months to complete.
In the meantime, enlarged photos of the original window have been be fitted into the space in plastic panels, acting as a replica.
“You wouldn’t know they weren’t the real ones from a distance,” Les says.
“It will be exciting to get them back when they’re nicely refurbished, it’s the most striking feature of the church.”
Donations to the window appeal can be made to the Parish Office, corner Cowper and Bonney Streets, Ainslie or 6248 7420 for cash donations or electronic banking details. Cheques can be posted to All Saints Ainslie, PO Box 328, Dickson ACT 2602, with name and address for receipt.