restored west window

Update on the Cathedral Great West Window

Update on the Cathedral Great West Window

We are pleased to report that the Great West Window at the Cathedral has now been restored and refitted and the scaffolding is currently being removed…

Due to deterioration in the leadwork and the effect of storms in early 2022, the West Window of St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth began to collapse early in 2023, requiring scaffolding to be erected to hold it in place. In early July, specialist contractors removed the glass to their workshop for restoration, and this week it has returned. We look forward to the complete removal of the exterior scaffolding (hence the dark strip in this photo taken today) when other external work has been completed, so that we can share a photo of the restored window in its full glory in the new year.

The West Window was designed and manufactured by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake, and installed in 1906. It is made up of six vertical sections and three large tracery cinquefoils plus associated eyelets. The window covers a total area of 228 square feet or 70 square metres and contains approximately 9,700 pieces of glass. It depicts St Swithun, St John the Evangelist, St Mary Immaculate, St Edmund, St John the Baptist, and St Wilfred.

The total cost of the restoration project is expected to be over £100,000, which is far beyond the means of the cathedral parish, situated in one of the poorest parts of the diocese. The cost of restoration of the image of each saint is about £5,000, and of each of the 9,700 pieces, the cost is just over £10. If you would like to donate any amount, perhaps in memory of a loved one, to help defray the cost of the restoration, please send your donation either by cheque to the cathedral or directly to the cathedral parish bank account (CDP St John’s Cathedral; Sort code 30-93-04; Account number 0088 3884). The names of donors will be recorded in a special commemorative book. You can text WINDOW to 70560 to donate £10. (Texts cost the donation amount plus one standard network message charge, and you will be opting into hearing more about the project. To donate without being updated, please text WINDOWNOINFO instead.)