Sidmouth Parish Church: 'Help us save Queen Victoria's window'
PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 April 2016
A £70,000 project was launched this week to preserve a window - gifted to Sidmouth Parish Church by Queen Victoria - for another 150 years.
Cracks in the stonework threaten the intricate stained glass panels, despite repairs taking place as recently as 2007.
Wind and rain now penetrate between the glass and stone, requiring its urgent renewal.
The window was given to the church by Queen Victoria in memory of her visit to Sidmouth as a baby in 1819 and in memory of her father.
It is accompanied by a Latin inscription which translates: “To her father Edward Duke of Kent who, when formerly sojourning at this place, was taken away in the midst of his deed of kindness before she has learnt to know him, his only daughter Victoria, Queen of Britain.”
The Reverend Canon Dr Philip Bourne said: “As a gift to all the people of Sidmouth from Queen Victoria, it is vital that we preserve the west window for the whole community and our many visitors to enjoy.
“It is the focal point of the main entrance to the church and is clearly appreciated by all who take time to study the craftsmanship and the stories that it tells.
“I very much hope that the people of the town will rally together to help save the Queen’s Window for future generations.”
The parish church dates back to the 15th century. Queen Victoria was approached in 1860, when it was being rebuilt, with a view to providing some recollection of her stay.
The window was installed in 1866, designed by Henry Hughes of Ward and Hughes, of London.
Writing the following year, when the window was reproduced in the Illustrated London News, Sidmouth antiquarian Peter Orlando Hutchinson noted that its top light depicts ‘Our Lord in glory’, and below shows the six acts of Christian charity.
He also wrote: “At the base of the window five of the reputed acts of St Nicholas, to whose name the parish church has for many centuries been dedicated, are illustrated; but some of the figures are so minute that they require very close inspection fully to appreciate their beauty.”
The bid comes just weeks after the completion of a £160,000 project to install toilets at the church for the benefit of the congregation and other users of the venue.
Donations towards the repair of the Queen’s Window can be left in the church.