Click on a picture to see these beautiful photographs of the windows in St. Lawrence's Church.All photographs copyright of Nick Carter
The Porch Project
The refurbishment of the Porch, designed by architect James Lunn Rockliffe, was completed in Spring 2012, and the commissioning of Tracey Sheppard’s engraved glass screen,inspired by the poetry of George Herbert, was made possible by the exceptional enerosity of many friends & parishioners.
We are so very grateful to all who contributed. In addition to the main feature of the engraved glass screen, which some might contemplate as the modern equivalent of a stained glass window, the porch project also incorporated several important improvements to the entrance of the church.This included treatment of the rising damp in the stone walls, new lighting, oak lined panels incorporating 8 new notice boards and improved disabled access through a gently sloping floor.
In October 2013 The City of Winchester Trust gave the refurbished porch, a commendation for its contribution to Public Art
The Design Brief
A Design Proposal for an Engraved Glass Screen
For the Church of St Lawrence in The Square,
The Design Brief. The parish requested that I take the poem,
`The Elixir` by George Herbert as the starting point for the design,
with particular reference to the third verse.
The Proposal. The entrance to St Lawrence Church is slightly
off-set; as a result the view of the altar is not in the centre of the
doors. For this reason I felt that it was important to create an
asymmetric design, leading the eye to the altar.
I have placed the words of the third verse of Herbert’s poem on
the left-hand pane of the screen to be read on approaching the
A man that looks on glasse,
On it may stay his eye;
Or if he pleaseth, through it passe,
And then the heav`n espie.
A soft, textured band passes through part of the lettering and moves across onto the doors. This whole section of the design may be seen simply as an illustration of `the heav`n` or as a reference to something of an even greater significance. There are, within the texture, twelve stars, representing the disciples and a sun and moon representing the omni-presence of the Creator.
The position of the Sun in the ascendant is an allusion to the resurrection.
The first verse of the poem is placed on the right-hand side of the screen to be read on leaving the church.
Teach me, my God and King, In all things thee to see, And what I do in any thing, To do it as for thee.
This is a fine message to carry from a place of worship.
A textured band flows from the base of this quotation up and across onto the door carrying within it a number of symbols. I have selected imagery from the local environment which link with the traditions of Christian art.
1. Daisies have been used to signify the innocence of the Christ Child.
2. Dandelions, one of the `bitter herbs`, was used as a symbol of the Passion.
3. Bees are the embodiment of industry, diligence and good order.
4. Butterflies and dragonflies fly across the glass. They have been regularly used by Christian artists to symbolise the Resurrection.
5. Oak leaves are a symbol of strength, virtue and endurance. Some believed that wood from the oak was used to make the cross. Tradition has it that St Lawrence Church was built on the site of William the Conqueror’s Chapel .The oak is famously associated with the New Forest which was planted as a hunting ground for the Norman Kings. This makes a connection between the new screen and the history of the church.
6. The Holy Spirit hovers over all in the form of a dove
7. Swallows have been used as an emblem of pilgrimage.
8. There are leaves from the Willow tree which has been used as a symbol of the Gospel of Christ. It continues to flourish and grow no matter how hard it is cut back.
9. Dandelion seeds from the `bitter herb` have been used as an emblem for the Passion of Christ. The dandelion seeds of the Passion and the ascendant sun are deliberately positioned to frame the view of the altar referencing the death and Resurrection.
I hope that I have created a flowing design which leads the eye into the body of the church, is interesting to look at and makes the curious think.
Tracey Sheppard FGE
Glass Engraver and Artist March 2012.