Craftsmen remove church window ready for make-over

Glass craftsmen Scott Simpson, David Gilchrist and Mark Bambrough remove the final panels from St Conan's rose window before they take them to Glasgow for restoration.

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A heavenly rose window was ‘pane’stakingly removed from historic St Conan’s Kirk this week ready to be restored to its former glory.

It took three craftsmen two working days to carefully take out the south-west facing window, made up of more than 60 pieces of glass with 27 of them depicting little cherubs.

Work in progress removing the glass panes from the rose window at St Conan’s Kirk.
Cherub faces on the rose window’s centre piece.
David Gilchrist and Mark Bambrough carefully remove the rose window’s centre piece.
Mark Bambrough holds the centre piece from St Conan’s rose window. 16_T35_rosewindow06

Damp had been seeping in and the frame holding it had become insecure.

The pieces of glass will go to the Scottish Glass Studios in Glasgow for a cheery makeover which should give the cherubs a brighter glow. As well as going under a microscope for close inspection, being cleaned and any repairs sorted, the window’s secondary glazing is also being changed from opaque to clear.

Friends of St Conan’s Kirk need £10,000 to pay for the work and have launched a Cheer Up Our Cherubs campaign to help fund it. The window’s glass was all hand-painted in the Victorian style by Helen Campbell, the sister of the kirk’s architect and founder Walter Douglas-Campbell. Joiners and stonemasons will also be involved in the restoration project.

Donation buckets will be at concerts and other events in St Conan’s and  at Dalmally Show on Saturday September 7.

People can also go online to stconanskirk.org.uk clicking onto its support section to give money or they can send a cheque made payable to  Friends of Saint Conan’s  to The Secretary, Beechwood, Lochawe, Argyll, PA33 1AH.