St. Stephen’s Church is holding a special 10-day Festival to highlight the beautiful stained glass windows, especially the very large Tree of Jesse window at the West end of the Church. This is considered to be the finest, most ambitious Jesse Tree designed by Philip Webb, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and William Morris, whose firm produced and completed it in 1865. This window is now in need of urgent repair and it is hoped that this Festival will show visitors and locals alike how important it is to find the funds to preserve this window for the Island.
We are very fortunate that the College of Further Education Higher National Diploma students have agreed to take part in the Festival. As part of their work they will set up a camera so that people can see the beautiful detail of the window, and also the damage. They will also provide information on the work of repairing and restoring stained glass, using videos from the company Holy Wells Glass that have agreed to undertake the restoration work. This company has recently been working for the Queen at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor and also on Worcester and Winchester Cathedrals. The students will also be displaying items they have made based on the designs of William Morris and his Arts and Crafts movement.
On display down the main aisle of the Church will be a floral carpet that members of the congregation will be making. It will represent the Tree of Jesse and will include 8 roundels made by various groups connected with St. Stephen’s surrounded by leaves and flowers. These roundels will depict 8 of the biblical characters in the Jesse window. They are: Abraham’s camel made by the Scouts; Isaac represented by the ram made by the Brownies; ears of corn to represent Ruth made by the Guides; King David’s harp made by the choir; King Solomon’s crown made by the Sunday Club; carpentry tools representing Joseph made by the St. Stephen’s Players and the Tree of Jesse and Mary and baby Jesus made by members of the congregation. When assembled this will make a very striking and interesting display to reflect the Tree of Jesse window.