Bishop of Horsham dedicates new Peace Window at Yapton church

The congregation turned to look at the new Peace Window as the Bishop of Horsham made the dedication
The congregation turned to look at the new Peace Window as the Bishop of Horsham made the dedication

Symbols of peace and harmony are reflected in a beautiful new Peace Window which has been dedicated by the Bishop of Horsham.

Created by the noted architectural glass artist Derek Hunt in his studio in Leicestershire, the stained glass window was installed at the west end of St Mary’s Church in Yapton last year.

The Rev Richard Hayes, rector of St Mary's Church in Yapton, with Angela Stewart, who came up with the idea of a Peace Window, and the Bishop of Horsham, the Rt Rev Mark Sowerby

The Rev Richard Hayes, rector of St Mary's Church in Yapton, with Angela Stewart, who came up with the idea of a Peace Window, and the Bishop of Horsham, the Rt Rev Mark Sowerby

Last Wednesday, around 60 parishioners gathered for a special afternoon service in which the Peace Window was dedicated by the Rt Rev Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham.

The Rev Richard Hayes, rector of St Mary’s, said: “Bishop Mark commented on the animals which feature in the window – the dove which had heralded peace after the flood, and the lion and the lamb, not the best of bedfellows, living in harmony and portraying the perfection of creation.

“He said we should not try to erase history but understand the scars of conflict and learn from the mistakes made.”

The bellringers were on hand and the choir premiered a new anthem composed by Luke Fitzgerald, whose grandfather sings in the choir.

An impressive array of cakes, tarts, canapes and savouries was provided by the ladies of the church, with hot and cold drinks.

The window was the idea of Angela Stewart while she was churchwarden at St Mary’s and she led the fundraising for the project.

Mr Hayes explained: “She felt the centenary of the armistice which ended the Great War should be marked by an addition to the Saxon church to reflect a recognition in this 21st century of the wars of the 20th century and our universal desire for peace now.”

The Peace Window also features an olive tree as a metaphor for peace.

Mr Hunt said: “It includes elements suggested by the community engagement we carried out last year.

“Can you see an open door in the design? That’s a key visual reference to the welcoming nature of the local community and is one of the symbols we discussed during the consultations.”

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