St. John’s Stained Glass Window Restoration Project Completed
St. John’s, like many churches did in the later part of the last century, elected to protect the stained glass windows that adorn both the chapel and the stone church with Lucite. The thick clear plastic-like Lucite protected the windows from damage as intended. However, the Lucite had some unanticipated long-term effects on the windows to include turning opaque thereby obscuring the windows from view from the outside and minimizing the artistic effect on the inside. More importantly this thick plastic material trapped the heat generated by the sun beaming on the windows and kept it against the windows thereby weakening the lead that binds the mosaic of stained glass that form the artwork in the windows. This eventually led to significant bowing to include the St. Cecilia window (at the back of the church facing Sunshine Ave) which was so severely damaged that it was in danger of breaking apart and required $26,000 in repairs.
The Stained Glass Windows Preservation Committee was established by the Vestry in 2011 charged with developing and conducting a capital campaign to repair and preserve the stained glass windows in both the stone church and the chapel. Six years later with the blessings of many generous donations and the arduous work of several parishioners, Committee Members and Vestry members, we are pleased to report that the nearly $70,000 repair and re-installation of the stained glass windows in both the chapel and the stone church are complete. Epiphany Studios (the contractor who did the intricate repairs) also installed or repaired frames, ventilators and covered each window with windshield grade clear glass. The new glass covering will not only protect the windows from damage and allow for proper ventilation but have also made the windows more visible from both the inside and the outside. Now these beautiful windows can be shared with not only parishioners but with the Kingsville Community. The sun beaming in now creates spectacular prisms inside the stone church and chapel and shines on the beautiful art celebrating Jesus’ life and the history of the church.
The committee would like to thank all those whose donations, large and small, made the preservation of these historic and artistic windows possible for generations to enjoy for many more years. We would also like to thank the Vestries that supported this campaign from inception to completion. Thanks also to the parishioners and other committees of St. John’s who tirelessly worked to support fund raisers and made this campaign a church priority for so many years. Of course many thanks to Epiphany Studios who tirelessly repaired and hand painted the windows restoring them to their original glory and them improving them with the new clear window covers and new frames.
We would also like to thank Bishop Sutton who came to St. John’s on our 325th Celebration and Installation of our new priest, Elizabeth Sipos, to bless the fully restored windows. He has shown his support throughout the restoration process by making diocesan records available to the Committee and by mentioning the project during regional meetings. He also made a rare exception to his policy and made a donation early on in the project as well.
Finally, the Committee would like to recognize Anne Leland who championed this idea of restoring the windows to their former glory and preventing any further damage. She did this for many years planting the seeds to embark on this enormous adventure long before the Committee was formed. Her tireless dedication was the springboard for the capital campaign. Her passion and tenacity assured its success.
Your generous contributions support a 5-year endeavor to repair, preserve and protect the rare stained glass windows of the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church of Kingsville, Maryland.
Donations are tax deductible and every gift helps. Should you have questions, please call (410)592-8570. Thank you for your generous support.
You can also donate at GoFundMe.com/stjohnskingsville