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St. Mary's, Buriton

 

We are here to worship God, welcome all, and grow together in faith and love.

 

The millennium window 
 

The idea for a new window in the church came originally from early discussions within the Village Millennium Committee in 1998.  Being a church issue, it was taken up by the PCC and a sub-committee was formed to pursue the matter.  First thoughts on design soon became complex as ideas came pouring in from all quarters.  As the thought of replacing the plain window near the font with the new window became firm so the idea for the design emerged.  It was thought appropriate that it should include Mary, Mother of Jesus, since our church is St. Mary's, together with Jesus as a boy.  Placing the window near to the font, an area where children gather at Christening time, would also be a symbol of the village of Buriton looking forward to the new Millennium.

Around twenty artists, all members of The British Society of Master Glass Painters, were approached and invited to submit slides of their previous work together with CVs and statements of their ideas for the window's design.  Four people were short-listed and invited to visit us in Buriton to see the village and the church for themselves and to discuss their ideas.  It was from this process that Paul Quail FMGP FSD-C was selected.

Paul produced a small sketch and gave his thoughts, based on our guidelines, for the window.  Mary should be in the right hand light and Jesus in the left.  The centre mullion presented a problem in that it could divide the figures.  However, by allowing a stream to run across the two windows and the same wind to blow the clothes of the two figures, the overall image would transcend the mullion. As the design progressed the symbolism became clear.  The background shows the wooded hills of Buriton with the downland beyond.  From the hills flows the stream, which has fed our ponds and, no doubt, the people and livestock of the village for centuries.  This for Buriton has been the water of life and in the water stands Jesus, who is the water of life.  In his hand, He carries a vessel: perhaps He is about to stoop and fill it with the water;  perhaps He has already drunk from it. His mother, Mary, looks down at Him and, with one arm upraised and finger pointing, indicates the way to God the Father.  Mary's right hand, held towards Jesus, shows the Son to us.  The wind, which blows the across the scene, is symbolic of the Holy Ghost. The falling leaves are symbols of the Leaves of Healing from the Tree of Life (Rev. 21), thus evoking the Trinity.  The whole design indicates optimism in the future at the turn of the new Millennium.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee approved the window's design.  The P.C.C. received a faculty from the Portsmouth Diocesan Registry for its installation.  The surrounding stonework and the saddle bars used for fixing were repaired while the window was being installed.  The work was completed in time for the blessing by the Bishop of Portsmouth during the Patronal Festival in September 2001.