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Stephen Chater (1974, Modern History), Master’s Steward of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, reports on a recent visit to Christ Church by its members.
7 May 2024
The House
The group outside Christ Church Library
The group outside Christ Church Library

On a chilly weekend at the beginning of March, members of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, a City of London livery company whose origins date back to the fourteenth century and which supports the art and craft of stained glass, paid a visit to Christ Church, led by the Master Glazier, Clive Osborne (1974, Jurisprudence).

After viewing the Book of Common Prayer exhibition in the Upper Library, the visitors enjoyed a tour of the Cathedral and its wide range of stained glass dating from a variety of periods. The tour concluded with a viewing of the first new stained glass to be installed in the Cathedral for over 130 years.  This was designed and made by the Company’s Upper Warden, John Reyntiens, in collaboration with Mai-Loen Tu and other members of his studio. The window depicts St Francis of Assisi and was given in memory of Edward Hector Burn, tutor in law at Christ Church from 1954 to 1990, and the Master’s tutor in the mid-1970s. The saint is portrayed wearing his drab habit which contrasts strikingly with the bold colours of the surrounding trees, animals and birds. The latter include representations of Edward’s dog, Piccola and three Christ Church ducks which can often be seen in the pond in the centre of Tom Quad.

John gave the visitors an excellent description of his work on the window, valiantly competing at times with bursts of music from the Cathedral organ and, latterly, with the start of choir practice ahead of Evensong, which was attended by the Master and other members of the party.

The final part of the tour took the visitors  into Christ Church Hall, in which the stained glass is largely by Patrick Reyntiens (John’s late father) and dates from 1979-82. The glass is described in the Pevsner’s Buildings of England series as being “in a fine Late Victorian spirit, with diagonal lettered bands of 15th-century derivation.” One window celebrates the literary output of mathematics tutor, Charles Dodgson (better known as the author Lewis Carroll) and the inspiration for his works, Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry Liddell, who was Dean of Christ Church from 1855 to 1891.

The visit culminated the following evening with a formal dinner in the McKenna Room, where the Glaziers were addressed by the Dean, the Very Reverend Professor Sarah Foot.


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