Preserve Christ Church's Historic Windows
- $120.00 donated
- 5 generous donors
Help save the beautiful historical windows at Christ Church, Ellerslie.
In our church we have the most amazing and beautiful stained glass windows! They are the only surviving full set of windows in New Zealand designed and made by the famous world-class stained glass-making firm of Clayton and Bell. This firm undertook commissions for Queen Victoria and their most famous work must be the windows in the chapel at Kings College Cambridge. As such, our special windows have immense cultural heritage value.
These treasures are now sadly deteriorating due to inadequate protection and ventilation and are in need of repair, cleaning, restoration and preservation. We need to raise funds in order to preserve these national treasures and to ensure the protection of the historic church building which houses them.
Everyone loves a good story! So here is ours: Albin Martin, a founding member of the church, had nurtured the artistic talent of a young Alfred Bell in his years in England. When the church was erected here in Ellerslie, Martin wrote to Bell asking if he had any spare glass which they could use to put in the window frames. A year later, instead of the scraps they were perhaps expecting, this full set of beautiful "Clayton and Bell" windows arrived. A testament to the gratitude which Bell obviously had for his mentor, Martin.
After much research, a Statement of Significance has been made by Dr Christopher Thompson, historian and art expert, an excerpt from which is below:
"The stained and painted glass windows of Christ Church, Ellerslie, have outstanding cultural heritage value because:
- They are a unique set of windows by an internationally important glass designer, Alfred Bell, and were presented by him to the church at the time of its construction;
- They have significant aesthetic values associated with the ecclesiological movement of the Anglican church;
- They are associated with the historically important Auckland-domiciled painter, farmer and politician Albin Martin, whose actions, spanning four decades, prompted the gift;
- They are an impressive material manifestation of the social, religious, cultural and aesthetic links the settler colony maintained with the metropolitan centre;
- They are an integral and significant part of the overall design of a well-preserved, finely executed, example of the second generation of Antipodean gothic revival architecture, designed by Robert McFarland;
- Together with the church building that houses them, they make a significant contribution to an understanding of the cultural historical landscape of an early Auckland suburban centre."
As a nation, it is our responsibility to protect these taonga so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.
The funds will be used as follows, to:
- Repair, clean and restore the windows
- Replace the metal struts across the windows
- Install proper glazing
In order to ensure the windows are protected the building housing them must also be protected. This involves:
- Re-roofing the church building
- Replacing some old rotting exterior timber
- Painting the exterior of the church to ensure it is watertight
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We have contracted the firm Salmond and Reed as specialist heritage architects to oversee this project. We have invested considerable funds into the project ourselves, but need to raise the rest of the funds for the project to begin.
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