Rural and religious come together in new stained glass window
Worshippers at St Mary the Virgin, Wortham near Eye, are delighted with their new stained glass window combining the religious and the rural.
The exquisite window cost £16,500 to create and was designed by Lancashire-based glass artist Deborah Lowe.
It reflects the beauty and productivity of the natural creation, with images of flowers, butterflies and a tractor ploughing a field.
The window has been a labour of love for the congregation, taking about five years from its inception to the installation last September.
The project has been wholly funded by the Friends of Wortham Church through subscriptions, events and an appeal which raised more than £6,000.
The window was dedicated by the Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, during a special service on Sunday.
He said: "It is so good that the Church is carrying on a very traditional role of being a patron to the arts.
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"The care and effort that has gone into this whole project is really commendable and the result will be an inspiration to many generations of faithful worshippers."
Cathy Hume, church warden at Wortham, said: "It was back in 2007 that a new stained glass window in the church was first suggested by the Friends of Wortham Church.
"Many of the windows were due to be repaired and a clear glass one in the north aisle was badly in need of re-glazing. Here was an opportunity to create something beautiful which could include aspects of the village.
"The main concern was that it should not unduly restrict light coming into the church. I saw some exquisite work by the glass artist Deborah Lowe from Lancashire, and she was asked to create a new design.
"Deborah's design was received by everyone with delight and in November 2011 the Friends were in a position to launch an appeal for donations towards the cost of the new window.
"Deborah set to work with great enthusiasm and she has proved to be a glass artist of exceptional vision, skill and technical versatility."