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St Mary's Redcliffe
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St Mary's Redcliffe
World News

Bristol church replaces stained glass panes dedicated to slave trader in favour of designs reflecting refugee crisis

by Sophie Drew

A church in Bristol has replaced stained glass window panes dedicated to slave trader Edward Colston with new designs that draw attention to the refugee crisis. 

St Mary’s Redcliffe Church chose to remove the windows after Black Lives Matter protestors tore down a statue of Colston and dumped it in Bristol harbour in 2020.

The Diocese of Bristol claims that the event came as a “signal to take action” and that it was the “right response.” 

The spaces were replaced with plain glass panels until four new panes could be designed and commissioned. 

The new windows reflect the migrant crisis, with one showing Jesus sitting alongside migrants in a boat. 

Another shows Jesus as a child refugee fleeing Egypt. A third depicts the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963. 

The designs were drawn up by a Bristol-based Junior Doctor. Although she couldn’t attend the unveiling due to work commitments, she said in a statement: “Jesus is depicted as multiple ethnicities to counter the Anglo-centric narrative of ‘white Jesus’, and running water flows between the panels to centre the designs in the seaport city of Bristol.”

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