Window of hope for St Paul’s

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A FLEETWOOD church is celebrating after receiving a fabulous Christmas present.

St Paul’s Free Church on Darbishire Road was faced with the awful prospect of losing its main stained glass window.

This magnificent feature measures metres by four-and -half metres and is one of the central features of the church.

It was installed when St Paul’s was built in 1927 and although it does nor depict any particular religious image, it’s arrangement of stained glass panels makes a great impact inside the church.

However, for the last 20 years there have been serious problems with this huge arched window. The cement around it has been rotting away and despite attempts to patch it up, it has begun to deteriorate at an alarming rate.

There have also been growing problems with the window itself, which has started to bow slightly. The cost of restoring the entire structure looked to be prohibitive and St Paul’s vicar, the Rev Virgil Tountas, was faced with the unthinkable – removing it entirely.

But now a parishioner has come to the rescue with an offer to restore it at a price the church looks able to afford.

Rev Tountas told the Weekly News: “It is wonderful news. This window is very important. All the features of the church – the smaller windows at the side, the interior arches and even the railings, are all made in the same shape of that window.

“It looked as though we had just two options: Either replace it with a normal glass window, or even have it bricked up. But now a parishioner who has the skills for the job, and who has personal history with the church, says he can do the work at a good price.”

With an estimate of £3,000 to work on, a number of fund-raisers are planned, with the work likely to begin in late February or March.