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Covid Window Stained Glass - Whittlesford-banner2.jpg
Martyn Postle
Covid Window Stained Glass - Whittlesford-thumb.jpg
Martyn Postle
World News

Church commemorates pandemic with new stained glass window

by Donna Birrell

A church in Cambridgeshire has unveiled a new stained glass window commemorating the Covid-19 pandemic.

The window, believed to be the first of its kind, evolved out of a previous plan to mark the thousandth anniversary of St Mary and St Andrew’s Church in Whittlesford in 2022 – so when the pandemic hit there was unanimous approval for a window giving thanks for the care and Christian compassion the village witnessed during the dark days of lockdown.

Ben Finn, an experienced stained glass artists was commissioned and children at nearby William Westley School were invited to paint a picture of  

what they understood by “Caring”.

Rev Alasdair Coles of St Mary and St Andrew's Church said over 80 images were received “and these were all passed on to Ben. His extraordinary creativity and sympathy for our project led to an iterative cascade of discussions, emails, texts, sketches and visits, to finally arrive at the window which you will now be able to see in the church. It is an extraordinary design, telling many interweaving stories of caring, both specific to Whittlesford and touching universal themes. We believe it is unique and certainly the first stained glass window to depict the pandemic.”

During August 2021 the church also invited suggestions and votes of suitable Bible passages to include in the window. The winner was “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you”.

The window, which was paid for out of “generous donations” features images of a woman delivering food to an elderly man and medical staff wearing PPE (personal protective equipment).

Rev Olivia Coles who is vicar at St Mary and St Andrew's Church told Premier :

"It's a very unusual window and it’s extraordinarily detailed. On the left side it shows anxiety, loneliness, the difficulties of life. But the right hand side is joy and community coming together and the abundance of creation, spring, new life, and over the two panels is, is the rainbow which became very much a symbol that we associated with COVID. At the very top there's a little dove, and the Holy Spirit over both sides.”

Rev Alasdair said :

“It is our hope that this message – of human caring and God’s love – and the window itself, will be a source of encouragement and solace to people going through difficult times for many years to come.”

The names of donors, who wish to be publicly acknowledged, are displayed in the church.

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