The Abbey Church is a very special place, not least because its beautiful stained glass windows. The windows are a large and significant collection dating from the 14th to the 20th century. Some of the most famous are those consisting of fragments originally from Winchester Cathedral’s Lady Chapel.
One of the problems associated with items of such a venerable age is the need for conservation and repair. In 2004 leading glass conservators Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn of Eumundi examined the stained glass collection and compiled an inventory of the conservation requirements and the cost involved. This amounted to a substantial sum and Museum staff set about finding means of raising the necessary funds.
Fundraising for stained glass conservation
Conservation of individual windows was undertaken as funds become available; through donations and various fundraising efforts. The Abbey Museum Friends undertook the task of raising the funds required specifically for the Winchester Windows. From 2009 to 2012 we held “Walk for Winchester” where participants were sponsored to complete a ‘pilgrimage’ from Sylvan Beach on Bribie Island to the Abbey Hall. By 2012, the logistics involved in organising the walks outweighed the funds generated so it was decided to discontinue them and find alternative means of raising funds; applications for grants, trivia nights and encouraging donations. Happily, the Winchester Windows have now been conserved and replaced in the Church looking even better than ever.
After all the years and fund raising all windows in the Church have now undergone conservation and there remains only the wonderful window located above the Museum door known as The Donor King still to be conserved. We have until May to raise the last few thousand dollars to have this undertaken.
We are nearing the completion of what has been a mammoth task over 12 years and can now say that the windows are good for another 500 years, hopefully in the same location!