Our unique Millennium Window is situated on the south wall of the tower. It incorporates a sound and lighting sequence and therefore has to be experienced not just viewed.
History of Our Millennium Window
To celebrate and mark the new millennium our Parochial Church Council (PCC) decided to undertake several projects. One of these was the introduction of an upper room in the Vestry, but this meant that there had to be a way of screening the interior glass window between the vestry and the tower.
Our Vicar, Revd Geoff Davis and architect and church member, Keith Blundell thought that a Stained Glass window would be an ideal screen and approached parishioner and internationally known artist, Graham Clarke, to see if he would be willing to prepare a design.
After researching stained glass production and studios, Graham then presented the PCC with a design and quote for the production and installation of the window, including specialist lighting and musical accompaniment. After seeing his draft designs, the PCC had no hesitation in commissioning Graham to produce the window.
As well as designing, Graham spent several days at the studios of Goddard and Gibbs (who are one of Europe’s leading stained glass workshops) selecting and working on the cartoon and selecting pieces of glass.
The window was installed in October 1999 and kept hidden while the sound and lighting aspects were developed ready for the unveiling on the first Sunday in the year 2000. It was unveiled jointly by octogenarian Capt David Roome, long time church and PCC member and Churchwarden and Mikey (the Vicar’s granddaughter).
The PCC paid a total of £18,700 for this project which included the installation of the window and digital music and lighting sequence. Graham Clarke generously gave freely the benefits of his gifts of design and practical work on the window.
Those who worked on the Window
Designer – Graham Clarke
Stained Glass Production – Goddard & Gibbs
Lighting – Cerebrum Lighting
Sound – Roger Dey of Canterbury
Music – ‘Dawn’ by Kitaro
Architect – Keith Blundell prepared drawings etc required for the Faculty application
What the Window Represents
The focus of the window is the wonder of God’s creation and of His faithfulness. The hand at the top signifies God’s hand as He created the world and all that is in it. The stars and sky are at the top, earth in the middle and water at the bottom. Endangered species are represented to remind us of our responsibility for God’s world.
Around the outside border of the window you will see dots – one for each decade of the past two millennia. Some have been replaced by a symbol, representing a few of the significant people and events in the Christian Calendar over the past 2000 years. Details of what the ‘special’ decade symbols represent are listed below.
Follow the ‘story’ from Bethlehem in the bottom left of the window, right around to Boughton Monchelsea and remember that still the journey goes on, for Jesus was and is the Light of the World.
Music – ‘Dawn’ performed by Kitaro who was the son of a Japanese peasant farmer who now lives in USA. Graham Clarke is a frequent visitor and guest in Japan where his work is much appreciated.
Border : Who/What the Dots Signify
11 Ignatius of Antioch (taken under guard)
21 St Alban (first British Martyr)
38 St George (England)
46 St Patrick (Ireland)
60 St David (Wales)
61 St Augustine (first Archbishop of Canterbury)
73 Venerable Bede (Biblical scholar)
74 St Andrew (Scotland)
107 Edward the Confessor (King of England 1042 until his death in 1066)
111 Anselm (theologian)
117 Thomas Becket (Archbishop of Canterbury – in 1170 he was murdered in the Cathedral)
123 Francis of Assisi (Founder of the Franciscan Order)
126 Clare of Assisi (founded a similar society for women)
139 John Wycliffe (philosopher, theologian, reformer)
148 Martin Luther (founder of the German Reformation)
154 William Tyndale (translator of the Bible)
155 Thomas Cramer (Archbishop of Canterbury)
169 John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress)
178 John and Charles Wesley (itinerant preachers, founders of Methodist movement)
184 William Wilberforce (abolition of slavery)
192 William Booth (founder of Salvation Army)
195 Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German Lutheran pastor)
196 Martin Luther King (civil rights leader)
200 Mother Theresa (founder: Sisters of Mercy)
As the music starts and the lights shine watch for
Hand of God – top Centre
God said ‘Let There Be Light’ (Genesis Chapter 1)
The heavens – top windows
As the music changes, you hear the sound of wind (God’s breath of creation – Genesis Chapter 1), and as you look down the window you’ll see representations of sunlight, birds, the sea, animals, the nativity (bottom left). There’s more sound of the wind, representing God’s Holy Spirit. The lights fade to give a night-time effect and as the wind continues, the lights come on again – another day dawns.
Glass in the Millennium Window
Graham Clarke knew the overall effect he wished to produce and together with te experts at the Goddard and Gibbs studio, managed to find particular pieces for specific sections of the window. Some of the pieces in their stock/library of glass are antique, rare and will never be repeated.
Special pieces in this window to look out for:- tail of the comet (R6); the stripey tiger(R4); chaos of creation (L2) – dark swirly glass; moon (R1) – seedy glass which looks as if it has craters.
Other pieces had to be painted, fired and acid-etched by Graham to produce the required result eg the shoal of fish (L4 nd R4) and the goldfinch (R5)
The dark blue glass used for both Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King (right hand border, decades 195 and 197) were given to Graham when he visited a glass works in Germany.