Church of England judge allows stained glass window at war bombed church

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The Church of St Nicolas has been given permission to install a new stained glass window.

All but three of the Cranleigh church’s 14 stained glass windows were destroyed by a bomb in 1944, and were replaced with plain glass.

This week, the Church’s Consistory Court approved a Parochial Church Council decision for the Baynards Chapel window to revert to a stained glass one, designed by Rachel Mulligan.

One parishoner, referred to in court as Mr Robinson, had objected to the plan.

He said the plain glass windows were a key part of the church’s attractiveness, providing light and views of the natural world, including an impressive cedar tree grown from a sapling brought back from the Holy Land by a previous rector.

Andrew Jordan, Chancellor of the Diocese of Guildford and a judge of the Church’s Consistory Court, said: “Whether the movement of an ancient cedar tree seen through clear glass is an aid to devotion or merely passes the time in one of the duller moments of the rector’s sermon will be a matter of personal taste or private spirituality, but the same may be said of stained glass.”

However, he said Mr Robinson’s personal preferences should not outweigh the decision of the Parochial Church Council, ‘unless its decision is obviously flawed’.