Heritage grant resurrects historic church windows
Dappled sunlight filters through the majestic painted, stained-glass windows of the historic Christ Church on Ellerslie’s Ladies Mile.
A grant from Auckland Council’s Regional Historic Heritage Programme is helping cover the cost of the restoration of these historic windows.
“It’s something we’ve wanted to do for years,” says Pamela Stone, People’s Warden of the parish.
"These are beautiful historic windows and we believe that it is very important to preserve such heritage.
“We are also very excited at the prospect of being able to do so and we are very grateful for the financial support afforded us by Auckland Council.”
While these windows are of national and international significance, it’s their connection to those who have worshipped there for over a century that gives them special meaning.
Working with heritage architects, the church is currently embarking on a very delicate project to return the windows and the heritage building which houses them, to their original condition.
Built in 1883 for the Anglican congregation of Ellerslie, the church is scheduled in the Auckland Unitary Plan as a Category B historic heritage building.
The windows were a gift to the church from Alfred Bell of Clayton & Bell, the highly regarded stained glass-making company in England. What’s more, Alfred Bell trained as a painter under the renowned landscape artist Albin Martin.
When Mr Martin moved to Ellerslie in 1881, he became involved in the establishment of Christ Church. On completion of the church building, he wrote to Alfred Bell, asking if he could spare some glass for one window in the new church. In his reply, Alfred Bell asked for the measurements of all the windows and in 1884 a full set of 18 windows set in 13 frames were packed in crates and sent to Ellerslie from England.
Other notable examples of their work can be seen in St George’s Chapel at Windsor, King’s College Cambridge, St Johns College Cambridge, Rochester Cathedral and Bath Abbey.
Applications for the current round of Regional Historic Heritage Grants open 4 March and close 12 April. Apply here.