Patchway church’s new stained glass window makes a big impression

Photo of the stained glass window. Photo of Stuart Low and Fr Eugene Campbell.

An imposing new stained glass window recently installed at a local church has been attracting admiring comments from worshippers and members of the wider community.

The 22sqm window on the front aspect of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, which faces Patchway Roundabout (just off the A38), is composed of more than 440 individual panes of stained glass and was designed and manufactured by Bristol architectural and stained glass artist Stuart Low.

The window has been installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Holy Family Church and has been funded by parishioners, who voluntarily paid £30 to sponsor an individual pane.

The initial idea for the window came from parishioner Felicity Harper and her sister, Pia. The pair worked together with parish priest Father Eugene Campbell to come up with a design and gain the approval of the church community.

Felicity and Pia then continued to progress the project, putting together a business plan and devising a sponsorship scheme to ensure that the total £18,000 cost of the work could be covered without drawing on parish funds.

The window was officially blessed by Fr Eugene during the 11am mass on Sunday 5th March, in the presence of the artist, Stuart Low, who has a studio in south Bristol (opposite Windmill Hill Farm).

Speaking to the Journal after the service, Stuart gave some insight into the process of creating the window:

“The work started with large sheets of coloured glass which were then precisely cut down, assembled, leaded and soldered together.”

“I think this is the biggest project I’ve undertaken and made in my studio. It has been a pleasure and privilege to make the window and it is lovely to see it now that it has been fitted.”

Fr Eugene said:

“The window is a symbol of the lively and diverse community of Holy Family with Christ at the centre. The design is based on the phoenix being reborn from the embers – Christ (represented by the cross) rising from the embers of death and shining out a welcome for all. For me, the window is not only a beautiful addition to our Church, but is also a shining invitation from Christ to ‘come and see’. Please God, it will be here for at least another 50 years.”

He added:

“The window has become a new form of evangelisation within the local community! More people are looking towards Holy Family Church and seeing a church that is alive and well supported.”

Photos: 1 The new window, viewed from the altar. [Credit: James Beck] 2 Designer Stuart Low with parish priest Fr Eugene Campbell.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.