New stained-glass window dedicated to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Published: Monday December 19, 2022

On Sunday 11 December 2022, Bishop Rachel led the dedication service for a new stained-glass window at All Saints’ Church, Down Ampney. The colourful window had been specially commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Ralph Vaughn Williams (known as RVW) was born in Down Ampney, in 1872, the youngest son of the vicar, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams. The window, which was designed and made by internationally renowned stained-glass window artist Tom Denny, is based on the theme of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ and makes reference to folksongs, RVW’s war-time experiences, the Sea Symphony and the pilgrim’s journey through life.

The window was funded by Mrs Judith Ivison and her daughter, Ros, in memory of their late husband and father, Robin Ivison, who had been an admirer of RVW, a founder member of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society and its first Secretary.

Vicar of All Saints’ Church the Revd Canon John Swanton said, “As you now walk into the church and look up the aisle, the new window (which you can’t see at this point) casts wonderful colour into the chancel, which intrigues and invites you up to see what is there. Everyone who has seen the window considers it to be a work of art worthy of the man and of this ancient church. It reminds us that these historic buildings have been changed and beautified through the generations, and this is our contribution”.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and members of the Vaughan Williams family attended the service, along with representatives of the RVW Society, and Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust.

At child at Down Ampney Primary School said, ‘The other windows in the church tell stories about Jesus, this window lets you make up your own story’.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester planted a tree (a Liquid Amber) as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.

Ralph Vaughan Williams became one of Britain’s best-known composers. This Christmas, many will be singing one of his best-known hymns – ‘O little town of Bethlehem’.

All Saints’ Church is usually open from 10am – 4pm every day to visitors. Read more about the window: New RVW Memorial Window



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