Work starts on Abergavenny memorial window to clergyman

10:40am Tuesday 21st January 2014

PREPARATION to create a memorial to a much-loved clergyman is under way.

Last year, designer Helen Whittaker was shortlisted from 24 fellows of the British Society of Master Glass Painters to design a memorial at St Mary’s Church, Abergavenny, to the Very Reverend Jeremy Winston, who died in 2011.

The scaffolding is in place and Ms Whittaker, whose design was selected by the Appeals Trust, has visited the church to get a closer look at the stonework and to carry out necessary measurements of the window in The Lewis Chapel, which will house the new stained-glass.

The Lewis Chapel is named after Dr David Lewis, the first Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, and contains his tomb. It is also home to the world-famous Jesse figure in the north transept, depicting the family tree of Jesus Christ and is the only one of its kind in the world.

Ms Whittaker, whose stained glass windows can be seen in many churches and cathedrals throughout the country, is creating a representation of a Jesse Tree.

The cost of the work is around £250,000, of which £35,000 has been raised by the community and £110,000 through grant-giving bodies.

Father Mark Soady, who took over from Father Jeremy Winston as Vicar of Abergavenny, said he is confident of securing the remaining funds through grants before the window is installed.

He said: “It’s a very exciting time. Experts say it will become one of the most important stained glass windows in Wales since the Second World War. I am very pleased with the design. The window will provide a fitting memorial to my predecessor and I am sure he would be very pleased as he had the vision to do something like this. It is our intention for this area to become both an intimate worship area, but also an education resource where people can study our treasures.”

Work is due to begin in summer and is expected to take about two to three months.

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