SERVICEMEN and women who lost their lives for their country during the First World War and other conflicts will be remembered with two stained glass windows at St Alban’s Church in Watchfield.
The church, part of the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, has launched a fundraising drive to cover the £8,000 needed to create the windows, which would serve as a memorial marking not only the centenary of the beginning of the Great War but the former academy students who perished in the line of duty.
Thanks to donations from the church’s Protestant and Catholic congregations, Shrivenham Station commanding officer Simon Twose and chaplain the Reverend Andrew Allcock have raised around £3,500.
“We wanted to do two things: commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War and also more specifically commemorate those, whether civilian or military from here who lost their lives in conflicts,” said Mr Allcock. “The windows will have a modern design with the poppy motif and people in uniforms through the ages.
“It’s a design that will stand the test of time. “In a few years people will be able to recognise something of themselves in the windows.”
The design is due to be approved by the Academy on Friday. It will give the duo and their fundraising coordinator Janet Holt just three months to raise the remaining £4,500 ready for a commissioning service in September to coincide with the arrival of a new batch of students.
“We were looking at the windows and the sun was beaming through and we thought stained glass windows would make it look much more like a church but also help us to link it to the military as well as the community,” said Wing Commander Twose.
“One of the windows will be very much about the Defence Academy and the people here who have served and have gone on to lose their lives in campaigns. “And of course through another window we wanted to commemorate the start of the First World War. “We wanted to get all that tradition and the historical link with the local community into the windows.”
The church, which is used by both a Protestant and Catholic congregation, was initially built as a shop for the military community in 1937. It was converted into a place of worship ten years ago.
To make a donation you can contact Janet Holt at email@example.com or on 01793 785515.