A STUNNING stained glass window to remember famous hymn-writer Cecil Frances Alexander has been unveiled at St Bestius’ Church in Killeter.
A closely guarded secret the beautiful offering entitled ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ was received with awe by parishioners who visited the church at the weekend.
Delighted with his church’s new feature Reverend Peter Ferguson explained, “It’s really something to be proud of, when the sun hits the window it’s just magnificent,
“We had a great day at the unveiling on Sunday, it was fantastic. We had a one-way system and wardens in place to make sure people were staggered during the day, and all of our parishioners who were able to attend were delighted with the window,
“We were really pleased to see one lady in particular able to attend – that was Jean Robb. Jean is a senior memory of our parish and due to age and mobility she hasn’t been able to attend church in quite some time, but with the help of her brother and neighbour we were able to get her to the church on Sunday so that was brilliant.”
Rev Ferguson explained the idea for the window came as part of a restoration project for St Bestius’ Church and aimed to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Cecil Frances Alexander. The renowned writer best known for hymns such as ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away’, and ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, lived in the locality from 1850-55.
The project will see the church completely restored.
Rev Ferguson explained the parish worked closely with Alpha Stained Glass in Derry to help make their idea for the window a reality.
Giving Alpha the brief to encapsulate ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ the final offering didn’t disappoint. “The window has everything,” he explained. “The centrepiece shows the view the Alexanders would have had of St Bestius’ from their home in Aghyaran, and then all around that we have things representing nature, Birds, the sun, trees, fruit, fish, flowers… everything is included and we are just delighted with it.”
Rev Ferguson hopes any parishioner who wasn’t able to make Sunday’s unveiling will be able to see the window at church services over the next few weeks, and he also extended an invitation to anyone else who may wish to view the window to come along and see it at any time.