The beauty of stained glass

At St Mary’s in Shipton we are fortunate to have very good stained glass windows in our church designed by the finest artists of their day.  This little article was prompted by the death of Patrick Reyntiens in October 2021, who designed our Millennium window (on the left as you enter the church) depicting the parable of the sower (St Luke 8 v. 5 – 15).  Much of his early work was interpreting designs by John Piper into stained glass and included commissions for Coventry Cathedral, Eton College Chapel and St Margaret’s Westminster, amongst others.  The swirling greens and yellows captivate the viewer.

Mike Brooks and I were invited by Reyntiens and his son, John, to visit his studio in Islington where, in an old tobacco factory in which his workshop was installed, we saw the window being made – a very complex and highly skilled art.

So we have Hardman of Birmingham, designer of the large east window above the altar, inserted in 1872 at a cost of £300, raised by voluntary contributions; then there is Michael O’Connor’s late 13th century style window near the choir stalls; this is followed by the Morris Company’s window above the altar in the Lady Chapel commemorating those who died in the First World War and, last but by no means least, in the Tower (where the choir practises) there are the two archangels designed by Burne Jones.  So the church displays the work of all the most important stained glass makers of the recent past.

Do go and have a look. The church is open all day.

Jane Graham

February-March 2022