The Bishop of Durham has formally blessed new stained glass windows that have been installed in an Anglican church in the Diocese of Durham.
The windows, one of which includes mining scenes and were created by artist Alan Davis, were blessed during a Remembrance Sunday service at St Philip and St James in Kimblesworth, which lies in the former Durham coalfields.
They were donated by parishioner Muriel Suddick, who said that when her husband Maurice was alive the couple often talked about the joys that stained glass windows in their parish church would bring to the surrounding communities. “We always talked about commissioning two stained glass windows for the parish church of St Philip & St James in memory of our parents, now that has happened – I am very happy with them.”
In the ‘Creation and Harmony’ memorial window, Maurice’s life in mining and the local community as well as his love of music and gardening are depicted. The other window, ‘Mother and Child’ symbolises the nativity in a semi-abstract style.
The Revd Canon Caroline Dick, Team Vicar of St Philip and St James said: “Each window depicts growth and life and this is very relevant to this former mining community as it continues to developed from its mining roots. This is a wonderful gift and a lasting legacy for both the church and the community, we are delighted.”
Bishop Paul said: “These wonderful windows, for which we thank God, and thank Alan for his work and Muriel for her generosity, speak to us of God’s fruitfulness through Jesus and shown in human lives like that of Maurice Suddick in his working life in the mining industry, his love of music and gardening and his love of God.
“On Remembrance Sunday, when we recall so many who have given their lives in conflicts, when we ponder what appears sometimes unfruitful and simply destructive and mystifying, we reflect on what it means for our lives to be fruitful.
“Surely one of the lessons to learn from the history of war and conflict is to impel us to work for peace and for fruitful, not wasteful, living.”
Muriel said: “I hope that the windows give a lot of pleasure to the people in this area and show them that the church is there for them and that is progressing well. It is something wonderful.”
Artist Alan Davis, who lives near Whitby, said: “I used traditional methods that stretch back to Medieval times to produce the windows. I am pleased with them, they look good.”