Saving sacred glass

Angaston Uniting Church’s Ross Dawkins and Elizabeth Sibley in front of the historic stained glass window, the central section of which needs urgent restoration work.

Since 1882, sunlight has streamed through the leadlight windows of the Angaston Uniting Church, casting a kaleidoscope of colour over generations of parishioners.

 But age has caught up with the stained glass treasure and a church sub-committee is working tirelessly to have the window renovated to ensure it can be admired for years to come.

Leadership and property committee chairman, Mr Ross Dawkins said the replacement value of the window was estimated at more than $400,000 so the only option was to save it.

“When you stand right up to the wall and look up, you can see the window is warped,” explained Ross.

“The lead that holds it together,  from what they tell me, is good for about 80 years and this is around 140 years old. So the lead is effectively rotten and has to be replaced.” 

It’s the large central section that needs urgent attention, the smaller ones at either side are still in good order according to specialists who came to examine the window earlier this year.

 “We thought we had better get somebody to have a look and get some expert advice,” said Ross.

“They took one look at it and said wow, they are beautiful windows. However, they are in a precarious state and need preserving.”

It is anticipated the work will commence in September when the window will be removed, taken to an Adelaide workshop  and renovated, before being re-installed hopefully by February next year. In the meantime the space left behind will be boarded up.

“When it is put back in, there will be acrylic over the whole lot. That will make the window last longer because it protects the lead from the weather,” said Ross.

The project is set to cost around $40,000, an amount the small congregation will struggle to find.

That’s why congregation chairman, Mrs Elizabeth Sibley and the project committee are asking for the wider community’s support.

 “It’s a large sum of money,” Elizabeth said.

“The congregation is supporting it and then we are also looking at donations through a GoFundMe page.”

Barossa Uniting Pastor Rob Morgan is in full support of the project, saying the work must be done.

Shipped from England, the windows were donated by Mr John Howard Angas and Elizabeth said they are a significant asset in Angaston.

She  urged those who would like to support the project to ring church treasurer, Mrs Sue Kroehn on 8564 2574 if they would like to make a donation.

“We must save this beautiful window,” she said.

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