Hope that empty church will reopen as restored window unveiled

Neil Forkes, from Forkes Stained Glass Ltd, and Mark Wilson, from Norwich Historic Churches Trust, u

Neil Forkes, from Forkes Stained Glass Ltd, and Mark Wilson, from Norwich Historic Churches Trust, unveil the newly restored Victorian stained glass window ar St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A newly restored stained glass window from the mid-19th century has been unveiled at a church building where there are hopes to welcome more visitors regularly. 

The Norwich Historic Churches Trust [NHCT] has completed the project to conserve the east window in the former church of St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich. 

The window was installed in June 1861 by Joseph Underwood in memory of his departed wife and children. It was commissioned from Alexander Gibbs & Co, a firm that operated from 1858 to 1915. 

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwic

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich. - Credit: Danielle Booden

St Peter Parmentergate is one of 18, grade one listed medieval churches cared for by NHCT and which are no longer used for religious worship. 

The main church is currently empty, but operated as a martial arts training centre for a number of years. 

St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich where a newly restored Victorian stained glass wind

St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich - Credit: Danielle Booden


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And the restored window was first revealed after scaffolding was removed on Friday, July 2. 

It was carried out in response to the glass and stone tracery becoming loose which meant the window was at risk of falling out. 

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Mark Wilson, NHCT's conservation manager, said: "This project has been a fantastic chance to work closely with some beautiful stained glass and to really appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship. 

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwic

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It was an important reminder of the many art-historical treasures that survive in Norwich's medieval churches and how important it is that they continue to be cared for." 

The NHCT hopes to have a new tenant in the church soon so that it will be open to more visitors more often.

NHCT worked with Forkes Stained Glass Ltd over a number of months and the project cost in the region of £25,000. 

St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich where a newly restored Victorian stained glass wind

St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich - Credit:  Danielle Booden

The glass was painstakingly removed, conserved and reassembled in a workshop over a number of months before stone repairs were made and the glass was reset.

St Peter Parmentergate was originally founded in the Anglo-Saxon period and much of the fabric dates from the late 1400 to early 1500s when it was rebuilt. It was then extensively restored in the 1860s. 

The main sections of the window each have a figure above a scene from the life of Christ.

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwic

The newly restored Victorian stained glass window at St Peter Parmentergate on King Street in Norwich. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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