Refurbishment work going well at landmark Nelson church

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished window countryside board at St Mary's. (S)

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished window countryside board at St Mary's. (S)

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Exciting things are happening at a key Nelson heritage location - the former St Mary’s Church in Manchester Road .

It is currently being converted in to a Centre for North West Traditional Building Skills. The centre will focus on engaging the community with Traditional Building Skills, and is hosting a one-day conference - “Investing in our Future – Sustainable Conservation and Regeneration” - next coming Tuesday September 18th).

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished Olympics window board at St Mary's. (S)

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished Olympics window board at St Mary's. (S)

As part of the refurbishment, children from nearby Lomeshaye Junior School were invited to take part in an art project to create designs for window boards on the front of the church facing Manchester Road.

The stained glass window project involved 10 to 11 year old pupils who attended the Art and Craft After-school Club, working in pairs, with each of the duos creating a design for one of the windows.

The programme was launched at Pendle Heritage Centre where Kay Leech from the North West Heritage Skills Hub gave a presentation about stained glass and the original windows in St Mary’s.

The purpose of the visit was for the children to understand the reasoning behind stained glass windows, their subject and content and to give them the opportunity to see some of the stained glass windows on display in the Heritage Centre.

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished Queen's Jubilee window board at St Mary's. (S)

HELPING HERITAGE: Leigh Flynn and Chris Wilcock from the Conservation Services NW team installing the finished Queen's Jubilee window board at St Mary's. (S)

This was followed up with a visit to St Mary’s, arranged by Paul Crowther, Pendle Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative project manager.

It was explained to the pupils that stained glass was often used to commemorate or celebrate an important event and each small team chose their own theme to reflect 2012 summer celebrations.

The themes chosen were Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, the school and friendship, the local area and nature. The pupils then worked on their designs during the after-school club on a Monday afternoon.

Joe Hollick, a graphic designer employed by Heritage Trust for the North West, later became involved in the project and he reproduced the children’s artwork and transferred the reprographics to window shaped weatherproof panels. The panels have now been fixed to the front of St Mary’s Church facing Manchester Road.

WINDOW WONDERS: Children from Lomeshaye School with their original designs for the stained glass window project. (S)

WINDOW WONDERS: Children from Lomeshaye School with their original designs for the stained glass window project. (S)