St Anne’s rose window in pride of place in chapel

2009-11-17 00:00

“A WORK of discovery” is how the creators of the beautiful rose window, now in pride of place in the St Anne’s Diocesan College Chapel, view their work.

Hunter and Ruth Nesbit of Port Elizabeth were chosen to create the three metre stained glass window after the school put the project out for tender in 2008. Space had been left for the window when the chapel was extended in 2007.

Cabinetmaker Hugo Partridge created the wooden frame after the school had decided it wanted a wooden rather than a stone frame for the window.

A brief was then given to artists to “create a stained glass window, both abstract and realistic in design, along a theme of nurturing and formation”.

In response, the Nesbits designed a window with 12 angels holding 12 symbols representing love, self-control, patience, peace, humility, strength, kindness, gentleness, joy, grace, hope and faithfulness.

The Hilton daisy is repeated around the window, as are 12 abstract forms of nurturing on the perimeter, and the centre circle panel represents earth, wind, fire and water.

Commenting on the designs, which were sourced from east, west and southern Africa and cross-referenced, where possible, with international Christian symbols, school chaplain Stuart Mennigke said: “We want people to interact with the window and discuss it.”

The window, which was blessed with incense and holy water by the Bishop of Natal, the Right Reverend Rubin Phillip, during a special ser­vice on Friday last week, was described by head teacher of St Anne’s, David Wilkinson, as “the most beautiful piece of work”. He added that it would enhance worship in the cha­pel.

Wilkinson was honoured at the service when the bishop invested him with the Order of the Holy Nati­vity.

The order, the highest bestowed on lay people in the Diocese of Natal, is given to people who “point others to the way of Christ and show a wil­lingness to become more Christ-like”.

As head of a Diocesan College, Wilkinson is also a lay minister in the Anglican Church, and at St Anne’s has fulfilled that ministry as a minister of the Eucharist, preaching regularly and taking services. He sees spiritual formation of children as a major part of holistic education.

Presenting him with the order, Phillip said: “David Wilkinson is a fine example of Christian giving and a worthy recipient of this order.”

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