“WE WANTED to put something in from this century,” said the Revd Ken Smith, Rector of Whitburn in Durham diocese. “We wanted to do something to pass on to the future in the village.” And the village responded magnificently to the idea of replacing the vandalised window at the west end of the north aisle.
It had been too badly broken to be repaired, and it gave the opportunity, said Mr Smith, to celebrate the village’s link with the sea. So a new window was commissioned from the artist Tom Denny, based on Psalm 107 with its vivid description of a storm at sea, how the sailors reel to and fro, and how God “delivers them out of their distress”.
Though the fund-raising was led by the congregation, “it became a village thing.” Many became involved in a multitude of fund-raising ideas, not only coffee mornings, dances, and car-parking, but bag-packing in the local supermarket. They raised all of the £14,000 required, and the Bishop of Jarrow, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, dedicated the window in the presence of the artist and a large congregation.
The window is situated, says Mr Smith, “where the sun streams through it for most of the day”.