ST PETER’S CHURCH, BRIDGE
Tom’s Window is a memorial to Tom Gowrie Stewart commissioned by his parents, Michael and Elizabeth Stewart, for St. Peter’s Church, Bridge. Its theme is ‘the journey of life’ — an unfolding story of who we are and what we do in the world. Moving through the landscape in the design are footpaths and walkers. Journeys on foot through the landscape are, or course, very important in the area around Canterbury, well known as a destination for pilgrims through the ages; the Pilgrims’ Way is very close.
The beautiful Kent landscape is an important element of the design. The land around the village bears much flora and fauna, and this is celebrated throughout the window. The window’s central scenes, depicting memories from Michael and Elizabeth Stewart’s lives, are full of vibrant colour which spills out into this landscape. The heavenly elements of the design, captured in sunlight bursting through clouds and forming a vibrant rainbow above the landscape, merge with the earthly delights below in the reflections on the river. A single dove at top of the left lancet represents the Holy Spirit guiding us as we take our journey. The central scene in the cinquefoil depicts an angel embracing a baby in its arms and wings in memory of Tom.
This window was designed and made by Grace at The Cathedral Studios, Canterbury, UK.
“Our greatest thanks should go to Grace, our wonderful artist, who was of course absolutely instrumental in realizing our vision”
"I had the privilege of seeing this stained-glass window as it was being made during a visit to the Stained-Glass Studios. The design and the extraordinary skill of the artist, Grace Ayson, has produced a beautifully detailed window which is both a wonderful tribute to Tom and a blessing and encouragement to others.”
-The Most Reverand Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Grace with Michael Stewart and Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury at the dedication of Tom's Window
Grace working on Tom's Window
DIAMOND JUBILLEE WINDOW
St Mary the Virgin Church, Little Houghton
In 2014 Grace was commissioned to produce a window celebrating and commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee for The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Little Houghton, Northampton. The window was installed and consecrated in 2015.
Other Church windows...
For over a decade Grace has worked on the conservation and restoration of the windows of Canterbury Cathedral, as well as many other churches. She has also worked with other designers and artists, using her skills as a glass painter to help them fully realise the potential of their designs:
"THE DAMSON TREE"
In 2018 Grace completed a second project for Canterbury Cathedral's cloisters. This time working with Hughie O'Donoghue RA to create a truly unique window. (Learn more about this project here...)