This July and August, the Church of England is running #StainedGlassSummer, a campaign which brings an opportunity for churches to share more about their beautiful buildings and encourage people to come and see them for themselves and discover something of the story behind the glass.
St Cyr’s Church in Stinchcombe has used the initiative to engage with families and children in their worshipping community.
The Revd Fiona Crocker, Vicar of Cam and Stinchcombe, says, “The windows in St Cyr’s are 19th century and we have quite a lot of them – almost every window is a stained glass window. We have the apostles, the ascension, the transfiguration, Mary and Jesus – the whole of God’s story in one church. It is a truly joyful celebration of stained glass windows.”
The windows have been well loved and cared for by the worshipping community. In 2015, the PCC with the Friends of St Cyr, and with village support, raised money for refurbishment of the windows.
“We also use the windows in school lessons, which is a wonderful opportunity to share them with children. Recently we had a class from Cam Everlands Primary School come into the church. We do an ‘I spy’ activity which the children love, looking for all the things they can spot in the stained glass windows, we also challenge them to see how many angels they can find and incredibly one of the children found what looked like an angel saying #watchandpray.
“The windows are a great celebration of God’s story and we use them to inspire the youngsters to design their own stained glass window. As part of that we have talked about the apostles and why they have been celebrated in the windows and what they did in their life – and we ask the young people, ‘Just as God thinks the apostles were special God thinks you’re special too. What do you think you are going to do in your life, what do you want to be remembered for, and what would your stained glass story be?’
“People are welcome to come in and enjoy the church as a sacred place, whether you have faith or no faith. St Cyr’s Church is open every day, we have a disability entrance and electric lift, so it’s freely accessible to all. So we invite you to come and see the stained glass windows for yourselves.”
Have you shared your stained glass window on social media? Simply take a photo, write a short post about it and encourage visitors to come and see it, tag #StainedGlassSummer and post it to your social media channel(s). The Church of England will be able to see your post and might even share it themselves.