Clare church launches £50,000 fundraising appeal to repair stained glass window

The Rev Lynda Sebbage at
St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Clare by the Three Virtues stained glass window. The church has launched a �50,000 appeal because the stonework around the window needs to be fixed, pictured with church warden Bill Perceval-Maxwell.
Picture Mark Westley
The Rev Lynda Sebbage at St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Clare by the Three Virtues stained glass window. The church has launched a �50,000 appeal because the stonework around the window needs to be fixed, pictured with church warden Bill Perceval-Maxwell. Picture Mark Westley

A beautiful stained glass window in Clare’s parish church is the subject of a fundraising appeal by residents of the town.

The Reverend Lynda Sebbage said the historic window at St Peter and St Paul’s Church needs around £50,000 spent on it because the surrounding stone work is weather-beaten and damaged.

The Rev Lynda Sebbage at
St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Clare by the Three Virtues stained glass window. The church has launched a �50,000 appeal because the stonework around the window needs to be fixed, pictured with church warden Bill Perceval-Maxwell.
Picture Mark Westley

The Rev Lynda Sebbage at St Peter's and St Paul's Church, Clare by the Three Virtues stained glass window. The church has launched a �50,000 appeal because the stonework around the window needs to be fixed, pictured with church warden Bill Perceval-Maxwell. Picture Mark Westley

A big fundraising push got under way this weekend, with a concert called Clare Songs of Friendship in the church on Sunday.

But the church has launched a fundraising appeal to restore the historic window – called The Three Virtues – by printing a leaflet giving details of how people can make a contribution.

Mrs Sebbage said: “The window urgently needs restoration and we have estimated it will cost £50,000, which includes the window and the stone work around it, which has deteriorated.

“It’s a beautiful window but it is also an important window in our local history.”

In a report by Dr Jasmine Allen, curator of Ely Stained Glass Museum, she says the window was designed and made in the studio of William George Taylor and is signed and dated by him in 1884.

Located in the south nave of the church, the window shows the three virtues – faith, hope and charity – popular in the Victorian period.

Dr Allen said: “The Three Virtues window is a unique work of art, made using traditional medieval techniques, but also inspired by the artistic tastes and fashions of the late Victorian period.

“The window bears a memorial inscription which records that it was given in memory of John Issacson, of Clare, and his wife, Betsy.

“It was designed and made in the studio of William George Taylor, who had premises in Berners Street, London.

“William George Taylor’s windows are not well documented, but this and other known examples at St Mary’s Church in Stamford are evidence of his ability as both a draughtsman and colourist.”

The Clare Songs of Friendship concert in aid of the appeal saw choirs from Sweden and Scotland singing with local singers.

It was the choirs’ first singing engagement in England, having previously performed together in Sweden, Portugal, Scotland, Transylvania and France.

They presented a programme of songs and instrumental music, including folk songs from their respective counties, as well as music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

In addition, the concert featured a new mass and two short instrumental works, a symphony by William Boyce and an organ concerto.