Stained Glass

For details of our exciting stained glass project please see the text below.

For a link to our photo gallery of the restoration please click here. 

For a Link to a BBC Look East article on the 17th Dec 2019 please click here.

To a see an article on the glass published in the East Anglian Daily Times on the 6th Nov 2019 please click here.

In medieval England, stained glass was a sophisticated art form on a par with sculpture or painting. Tragically, as much as 90 percent of it was smashed in the Reformation and the Civil War. Holy Trinity was by no means immune to this vandalism. However, the sheer area of windows in our immense, light-flooded church made it hard for the wreckers to destroy all the glass. What survived was an array of stained glass widely acknowledged by art historians as unique in England. 

Mainly secular images, now situated in eight windows in the north aisle of the church, they show the friends and family of the principal funder of the church, local wool tycoon John Clopton. Their large portraits provide an unparalleled record of 15th-century costumes, heraldry and hairstyles.

There are some religious images too. They include the remarkable Pietà image of the crucified Christ in the Virgin Mary’s arms. This ‘Catholic’ subject aroused particular ire among the zealots, and ours is one of only four surviving examples in English stained glass.

Over the centuries, these windows have become corroded and dirty. We have started the major task of restoring them to their original brightness and conserving them for the future.  The before-and-after images here show what a difference the process makes. Unfortunately, restoration is hugely expensive. The windows need to be carefully removed and taken one at a time to specialist studios at Canterbury Cathedral. After cleaning, a hand-blown laminate panel is attached to the outside of the window to prevent future damage. The whole process will take years, at a cost of £800,000 on current projections.

The initial phases of the restoration are being financed by a generous bequest from a US descendant of John Clopton, received via the Friends of Long Melford Church Building Trust. This will pay for the restoration of two or more windows. However, we still need to raise at least £500,000 to conserve this unique national treasure. We hope you will give as generously as you can.

Donations can be made by bank transfer to the Long Melford PCC, a/c 01206125, sort code 60-21-03 (please use ‘SG’ + your surname as your reference).You can also send us a cheque payable to Long Melford PCC, and marked STAINED GLASS on the reverse. Post it to: Stained Glass Fund, Long Melford PCC, The Rectory, The Green, Long Melford, Sudbury CO10 9DT. If you are a UK taxpayer, we benefit greatly if you complete a Gift Aid declaration. If you want to do so, just send an email to stating your name and address and that you are a UK taxpayer.

Many thanks for your generosity. 

Please note that in the unlikely event that we raise funds surplus to the requirements for the glass restoration, your donation will also be used to preserve the fabric of the church. 

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