Rededication Of The Paul Church East Window
Tuesday 8th May, 2018 - 11:17am
Members of the choir were very privileged to be invited to the rededication of the east window at Paul Church on Sunday 6th May. Attending the service was the Lord Lieutenant of the County, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, representatives of those who had restored the window and fund raisers. The service was conducted by the Rev Andrew Yates, six days short of the one hundredth anniversary of the original dedication of the window in 1918.
This was a very poignant service and remembered the part played, not only by Lieutenant Torquill Bolitho who was killed in 1915, but by all those who died in the service of their country. The glasswork, designed by the notable Arts and Crafts artist Robert Anning Bell, looked stunning in the early May sunshine and brought out elements of the window that have not been seen for a while, in particular the stars and dove of peace at its apex. The rededication took the form of prayers, hymns and poetry. The poem, ‘Julian Grenfell’ by Maurice Baring was extremely apt. Grenfell was killed two days after Torquill Bolitho and looking at those stars shining bright whilst listening to the poem’s last two lines, provided a very moving epitaph;
And you will speed us onward with a cheer
And wave beyond the stars that all is well
The choir were extremely delighted to have played its part in providing some funding for the restoration work that has been carried out. It was not lost on anyone present that the original dedication was undertaken whilst the war was still in progress. Wilfred Owen’s most famous poem was read out and it was not lost on the congregation the poem’s last line, ‘Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori’ and the lie that filled the recruiting halls across the land.
This window will continue to be part of our Monday night choir practice and serve as a reminder of the sacrifice of that generation and the thanks we give for our freedom.