Banbury church’s appeal to restore stained glass windows

St John's Roman Catholic Church has started raising funds to replace three stained glass windows. Pictured, Father Richard Walker and Father Craig Szmidt NNL-160314-092817009
St John's Roman Catholic Church has started raising funds to replace three stained glass windows. Pictured, Father Richard Walker and Father Craig Szmidt NNL-160314-092817009
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A church congregation in Banbury is looking to raise £140,000 to help restore their stained glass windows.

St John’s RC Church on the Oxford Road is an important landmark in the town and the work on the three windows behind the altar involves specialist restoration of the stained glass, wooden frame and surrounding stonework.

Rev. Father Richard Walker, said: “The glass is in a very poor state and we have found the wood is rotting so it is quite a dangerous situation. If we did not spend money these windows would be lost forever. We think the windows were installed two or three years after the church was built in 1838 and they are an important element of the fabric in the church.”

St John’s was one of 35 Catholic churches built in England between 1837 & 1845 and is an important landmark in the town of Banbury.

It was designed by the Oxford-based architects Hickman and Derick and the Sanctuary is attributed to Augustus Welby Pugin, an important church architect also involved in the design of national buildings such as the Houses of Parliament.

Members of the congregation have also set up a text donation system where donations can be made by texting JOHN30 and the amount of the donation to 70070.

The suggested donation amounts are £5 or £10 and all of the money donated will go to the restoration work. Anyone making a donation can also gift-aid their amount by adding 25p to every pound.

There are numerous fundraising events taking place at St Johns, with a disco, auction and raffle being held on July 9 .

Fr Walker said: “We have an average of 750 people who come to worship or hear mass every weekend and a lot of stuff goes on with Blessed George Napier School and St John’s RC Primary School and the Catholic community.”

For more information about the appeal or to buy tickets for the dance on July 9, call Marilena Kearns on 07891 178920.