Felixstowe parish priest’s bid to raise £65k to replace eight listed windows in danger of falling out

Windows at a Grade II-listed Suffolk church are in danger of falling out because the lead strips in them have started to fail due to old age.

Father John Barnes, parish priest at St Felix Catholic Church in Felixstowe, has launched an appeal for companies and individuals to come forward to sponsor a window and help the church meet the £65,000 cost of replacing the eight nave windows.

Sponsors can either pay for a full window at £8,500 plus VAT or part of a window for £2,800.

Father Barnes explained that after 100 years of the Gainsborough Road church’s existence, the lead strips had begun to fail, with the result that the glazing had begun to bulge.

The lead is used in the windows to hold separate pieces of glass together and is favoured because it is pliable and bendable to fit the shape.

“If nothing is done, the panes of glass will eventually fall out,” Fr Barnes told the East Anglian Daily Times.

“It would be possible just to take out the present glazing and re-set the diamond-shaped panes in new lead strips, but the glass is pale green and not at all attractive, really more suited to a lavatory than a church.

“We want to replace the green frosted glass with clear glass, which will flood the church with light.”

He added the craft work involved with the windows would be expensive, especially as it was a large scale project.

“Sponsors will be able to have one of the diamond-shaped panes engraved with an inscription, maybe saying it is in memory of someone who has died, or in thanksgiving for some event. A kind of permanent memorial,” he said.

Anyone interested can contact Father Barnes on 01394 282561 or at frjohnfelixstowe@gmail.com