|Earlier in the year we learnt that we’d been granted £3000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund First World War: then and now grant scheme to carry out repairs on a beautiful glass mosaic memorial in St Mary’s Church, Itchen Stoke.
Often described as a jewel in the CCTs crown, St Mary’s was built in 1866, inspired by the soaring elegance of the thirteenth-century Sainte Chapelle in Paris, chapel of French kings. The church is a dazzling kaleidoscopic wonderland of pattern and colour. The roof is richly painted, the font is inlaid with a variety of marble, the floor near the altar is decorated with sparkling tiles laid out in the form of a maze, the pulpit has five panels filled with scrollwork and foliage in cast iron (the same design is repeated on the ends of the pews). Best of all however is the stained glass, especially in the west window. The elegant arched windows contain small pieces of clear red, blue and green glass arranged in geometrical patterns