The Daily Telegraph featured Holywell Glass working on one of our windows in the newspaper on 26th October:

The oldest glass in the window comes from the 1600s, when St Lawrence Church was rebuilt by the Garth family, of Morden Hall Park. They chose what they wanted in the windows very carefully, to proclaim clearly the wonderful Good News of Jesus Christ and the new relationship that he makes possible with God.

Visit the site with us (from June)…

See what happened when we visited the glass studio in September:

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What’s Happening?

From March to December this year (2020) the big window at the end of the building that you face when you sit in church is going to be restored – both the glass and the stonework. When it is finished it will be ‘double glazed’ with clear external glass for protection as well as new metal grilles. Scaffolding will be put in place inside the building and outside, the glass will be removed and taken to Holy Well Glass for restoration, and the stonework will be renovated. We will have some further repair work done to stonework in other places around the church building. The path across the East end of the building (nearest the main road) will be inaccessible – so church access will be from the main road through the lych gate to the old main church door.

How are we paying for it?

The total cost is around £165,000. We are grateful to God that this is completely covered by a gift and a grant. Approximately £125,000 will come from the Ivy Morris bequest, and £40,000 from a grant from the SUEZ Communities Trust Landfill Fund.

Why does it need doing?

All parts of the painted decoration are in decaying condition” – according to the condition report. Furthermore, as you have probably noticed, the stonework is in a terrible condition with serious erosion and decay. Every five years our church is inspected by a surveyor, and at the last inspection this was a priority matter.

How does it fit with our Mission Aims?

We aim to bring glory to God by helping you to:
“Know ” – Jesus and his love and salvation for yourself;
“Grow ” – in Jesus, and be transformed by His Spirit; and
 “Go” – to serve Christ locally, nationally and globally.

We are the stewards of a remarkable historical building that has been the site of the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ for hundreds of years. While the restoration of the window and stonework is very practical it is part of our witness to the local community that we are a thriving Christian Church seeking to make Jesus known. Hopefully it will present opportunities to engage with local people, welcome them into our buildings, and speak with them of our Lord and Saviour.

Is there anything special about the glass?

Much of the lower section is original to the 17th Century rebuild of the church, with the upper ‘dove of the Spirit’ section coming from the 19th Century.

Leonie Seliger ACR of the Canterbury Studios, who produced the condition report for the renovation, comments: “The great rarity of the glazing of the East Window at Morden, together with its unusual subject matter, makes this window deserving of great care, both to ensure its continued survival, and to bring it to the attention of a wider audience.

It is thought that the 17th Century glass was carried out by Abraham Van Linge, a glass painter from Emden in Germany active in Britain from 1625-41.

What’s with the Double Glazing?

When the restored glass is remounted the experts will put clear laminated glass in the stonework where the stained glass was originally. With the external clear glass in place, the stained-glass windows will be suspended inside on a frame with an air gap allowing for air circulation around the glass.

This is an innovative but practical way of protecting the historical glass from the deterioration that comes through temperature and humidity changes from the weather. The windows will still be visible from the outside, and the renovation work should last much longer.

What’s the detailed programme?

There was a six week break in work in the first lockdown, but work has continued since then, and is now scheduled to conclude in December. We are very grateful to Taylor Pearce for their continued excellent work in difficult times.

March 2020 Scaffolding erected
March 2020 Glass removed and taken to Studio
April – November 2020 Glass renovation in Studio
April – November 2020 Stone renovation on site
November 2020 Glass returned to site
December 2020 Scaffolding removed and site returned to normal

How do I get into the Church / Centre with all that scaffolding?

During Lockdown: sorry, the church is closed. We are not able to provide the cleaning and attendance necessary for individual prayer.

When In-Person services are possible with Covid restrictions:

From the lych gate (London Road) entrance, walk down the side of the church and enter through the Porch and big main door (just come on in – you won’t disturb us, whatever’s going on)

for the centre: no direct access is possible while covid-safe restrictions are in place.

How will it affect services?

Well, Coronavirus has had more effect than the windows!

When we are able to use the church we enter through the South Porch: enter the Churchyard through the lych gate (on London Road) and follow the signs for the South Porch (the old door).

How will it affect use of the Church Centre?

Coronavirus restrictions have prevented us from using our Church Centre.

Who should I talk to for more info?

Charles Jeffery is our expert and has been coordinating the project on behalf of St Lawrence’s District Church Council and the Morden Team Parochial Church Council.

David Heath-Whyte (Rector) , Charles Jeffery (Parish Warden), Jason Armstrong (District Warden), February 2020, updated November 2020

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