THE DEDICATION OF THE QUEEN ELIZABETH II STAINED GLASS WINDOW
BROAD HINTON CHURCH THURSDAY 16th JUNE 2022
Some sixty villagers and members of the local community were privileged to witness the formal dedication of this beautiful window by Bishop Andrew of Ramsbury, on a beautiful English summer evening. He was assisted by Rev’d Maria Shepherdson and Churchwarden Gill Crabtree. The evening was enhanced before the dedication service by village and guest bell ringers and during it by the church choir.
Special guests included the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, William Wyldbore- Smith representing the Queen, Danny Kruger MP, Deborah Lowe the designer of the window, Allison Bucknell our Wiltshire Councillor, Parish Council Chairman Alex La Roche, as well as representatives of local clubs and organisations.
Bishop Andrew’s warm personality and sense of humour shone through both the formal and informal elements of the evening. He invited Deborah Lowe to stand below the window at the dedication and everyone enjoyed chatting informally to him at the reception held in the churchyard after the service.
During the reception Nick Moakes eloquently raised a toast to Sally Cartwright and the late John Hutchings whose idea the window was, to commemorate the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee in 2017. They worked tirelessly to get all the necessary approvals, only for the installation and dedication to be delayed by the pandemic. It is so sad that John was unable to be with us to witness the dedication.
We are very grateful to Dave Eagle whose wonderful set of photographs, tell this lovely story far better than any words. It was an important and memorable day in the history of our village.
This window, designed by Deborah Lowe, was installed in the Church of St Peter ad Vincula on 10th December 2020.
Rich in symbolism, it commemorates the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee in 2017. Broad Hinton has a history of marking notable Royal events.
The White Horse on Hackpen Hill, overlooking the village, was carved out to mark Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838, and our church installed a special window in 1887 to mark her Golden Jubilee.
This window was designed to tell stories of the Queen’s reign, and also to harmonise with the Queen Victoria and St Mark windows, while keeping good light levels and a feeling of airiness that is essential for activities in this part of the church.
The centre of the window is a banner, echoing the colours of the Royal Coat of Arms. On this sits the crown used at her coronation, resting upon a pair of white gloves; these are a symbol of the Queen’s constant service, as well as a reference to the many, many thousands of hands she has shaken in the performance of her Royal duties. Beneath is a sash with the star badge of the Order of the Garter. The brocade patterns in the cloth of the banner represent plants and flowers from the Commonwealth.
A purple ribbon descends from the apex of the window to the base, representing the continuity of the royal line, joined in a knot at the top where King George VI’s reign ends and the Queens begins. Secured in the knot are two items, the first a golden crucifix, a reference to the Queen’s title of Defender of the Faith, but also a quiet symbol of the strong personal faith that has sustained and guided her. The second is a primrose, a favourite of the Queen’s that is especially grown for her in her gardens. A traditional symbol of eternal love, near it is a butterfly, often used to symbolise eternal life and hope.
The purple ribbon binds bouquets of flowers and plants symbolising the United Kingdom, and includes poppies in remembrance of those who served their country, commemorated by the Queen every year.
Echoing the detailed paint and stain work in the Queen Victoria and St Mark windows, two columns of grisaille (the traditional shading of grey) and silver stained diamonds are included, depicting images of notable events and achievements during the Queen’s reign.
An image of the Queen appears in a roundel above the inscription at the base which reads ‘In thanksgiving for the service of Queen Elizabeth II our longest serving monarch’.
A border of rich greens frames the window, this colour representing the British Isles. This is decorated with a pattern of olive branches and wheat, a reference to the embroidered border of the Queen’s Robe of Estate, worn after her coronation. The plants symbolise peace and plenty. This border is studded with roundels, representations of silver, rubies, gold, diamonds and sapphires for the Queen’s Jubilees.
Handmade glass is used throughout, with glass painting and silver stain, traditionally leaded and cemented.