I recently explained to my husband, having spent a tidy sum on getting my hair done, that it costs more to stay beautiful as you get older. And I promptly reminded him that as the famous TV ad slogan stated ‘we’re worth it!’. Like a lot of us folk in museums near Brisbane, the collection of Medieval Stained Glass at the Abbey Museum isn’t getting any younger either!
The Abbey Church
You might recall the Medieval Stained Glass post we presented recently. It spoke about the Abbey church and the Gregorian Chanting highlight of our Abbey Medieval Festival. The essential charisma of the extraordinary beauty of the stained glass in the Abbey Church can also be experienced during the knighting ceremony prior to the Medieval festival. this magical ambiance with candlelight, chanting, costumes and spiritual peace combine to facilitate a unique transformation into life in medieval times. This unique experience takes place every year before Christmas.
However, on a practical level, the Abbey Medieval Festival exists simply for one reason. Well two actually! Primarily, we love to share our passion for medieval history with all of you, and inspire interest where we can, but secondly the purpose of conservation and presentation of the stunning artifacts, art, and and in particular the stained glass collections is top of the agenda.
Nearly every piece of our Stained Glass was gathered in the early 1940’s, a great deal of it from Winchester Chapel, London. At that time, much of those windows were in pieces, literally. Some of the windows date back as far as the 12th century; an amazing range of 1000 years. As custodians of this remarkable heritage, maintenance is a high priority.
Over time, we have had some major projects focused on conserving our medieval stained glass. Just one window can take six months of professional attention and of course fundraising is always up for discussion.
Friends of the Abbey Museum
The Abbey Museum’s ‘Friends of the Abbey‘ are about to embark on their annual Walk for Winchester fund-raiser on Saturday, the 29th of September.
The ‘Friends’ try to make this as enjoyable as possible and morning tea and lunch is throw in for good measure! Nature provides the props and back-drops for your day. Picture it… getting up on a glorious south-east Queensland spring morning (keep in mind Winter is approaching in Winchester!), get yourself and maybe family and friends to the museum where you join the other Winchester Walkers in a bus trip to the beautiful Bribie Island. The chit chat and laughs have already begun, but here the excursion commences and after a five km stroll, the awaiting bus takes you to morning tea!
Once revitalized, the walk continues along forest tracks back to the Abbey. And lo and behold, luncheon awaits you there!
There is a sign-up fee, and we ask that you find sponsors for your endurance walk for Medieval stained glass “conservation cause”. You might even encourage some friends and family to join you perhaps. Just let the Abbey Museum in greater Brisbane know you are coming so we can arrange enough buses. The Winchester Windows are ‘worth it’.