£65,000 to restore stained glass windows

St Leonard's, Balderstone, is having its superb stained glass windows renovated.
St Leonard's, Balderstone, is having its superb stained glass windows renovated.

Artists and village schoolchildren are being invited to celebrate a church’s stained glass windows that are about to be restored.

St Leonard’s Church, Balderstone, is to receive £65,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to repair and restore five of the beautiful stained glass windows, installed in memory of prominent local people around a century ago.

St Leonard's Greenwood window

St Leonard's Greenwood window

The village community, including children from Balderstone Primary School, will be involved in the project through a range of activities running alongside the repairs.

These include open days and an invitation to people in the Ribble Valley and surrounding areas to create artistic interpretations of the windows.

Visits are being planned for the village schoolhildren to see Tiffany Glass at the Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington, and the World of Glass Museum at St Helens. A workshop in the school will involve the children in designing and creating an item of decorated glass.

Details of the repair project and the programme of activities and events were being revealed to villagers last night at a project launch event at the village school. The church was open for visitors to inspect the windows.

The windows are all around 100 years old and they provide a strong connection with our church and village history

Project co-ordinator

John Mather, project co-ordinator at St Leonard’s, said: “We are delighted to have obtained the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are excited about involving both the local and wider community in the project.

“The windows are all around 100 years old and they provide a strong connection with our church and village history.”

Mrs Janet Banks, St Leonard’s headteacher, said “We are proud to be part of a close church community at Balderstone. This project will give the children a unique experience, deepening their understanding of heritage issues.

“They will have some amazing experiences that will develop their knowledge and skills. We are absolutely delighted to be part of it.”

St Leonard's Joseph Radcliffe window

St Leonard's Joseph Radcliffe window

The restoration work will be carried out by Clitheroe specialists Light Works, and involves taking out the windows, repairing them and replacing fractured stone mullions.

It will begin in June but before it starts the church is inviting artists of any kind to visit and produce an artistic interpretation of one or more of the windows, or a particular feature within a window.

Artists can work in the church, or take a photograph and produce their work at home or in their studio.

In the week beginning May 18th, the church will be open between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and between 6 and 9 pm on Tuesday and Friday. Alternative arrangements are also possible by request.

St Leonard's rutherford window

St Leonard's rutherford window

Works of art should be submitted by August 31st, and will be included in displays at the open days and in a booklet as a permanent record.

Interested artists are asked to e-mail jdmather@hotmail.co.uk for details about guidelines and how to submit their work.