A new life for an old window

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:39

Chester — If you were driving past St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chester in mid-September, you may have noticed a large gathering on the front lawn of the church. What brought the people of St. Paul’s outside in the middle of their weekly service? After many months of waiting, they were celebrating the return of their beautiful stained glass window. The stained glass window, which proudly overlooks Route 94, had been removed in the spring time, leaving behind only plywood to take its place in the months that followed. During the service, the congregation headed outside to admire the newly installed window, and to join together in a special prayer and blessing of the window under the guidance of the church’s Vicar, Reverend Candace Sandfort. As far as anyone knows, this window was installed when the church was built in 1898. After 112 years, the window was in need of various repairs, which included replacing rotting wood, cleaning the individual panels, and re-leading the window in certain areas. Repairs to a window of this size were sure to be costly, but the congregation saw the importance in repairing and restoring this piece of art so it would be around for enjoyment for many years to come. Ed Hawkhurst, a long time member of St. Paul’s, put it best when he said “We are only temporary residents of our house of worship. It was passed down to us by the generations who preceded us. We are now the stewards of our church, and as such, it is our turn to protect and preserve it for those who follow.” Phil McCutcheon, who also happens to be a devoted Episcopalian, and the owner of a company called Window and Doors located in Wayne, N.J.. oversaw the project. He brought in another valuable resource, Dan Welsh of Welsh Custom Homes and Renovations. Together, they assessed the condition of the window, and recommended a plan of action regarding what repairs needed to be performed.