Since we purchased the church last week, I’ve noticed that one feature of the building that people seem really interested in is the stained glass. People want to know if we’re going to keep it, replace it, do [insert whatever thing they think we should do with it here], and so on. They also want to know its provenance.
So, to answer: The stained glass windows appear to have been variously donated by various parishioners, either individually or in groups; at the bottom of each window is a name either of the person or group who donated the window, or a person in whose honor the window was donated. It seems disrespectful to get rid of those windows, and also, I have no interest in trying to plan out how to (slowly and expensively) replace them. Also, I happen to think they’re pretty. So they’re staying put. They’re mostly in good repair, which is nice, although there are a couple places where we’ll have to fix things. Those will go onto a list for the contractors we’re hiring, for the general refurb of the building.
If I were ever going to replace the windows, I should note, I would probably choose to do them in a very different style. One artist whose stained glass work I’ve long admired is James Hubbell, whose work I became familiar with because he did several stained glass windows for the chapel of the Webb Schools of California, the high school I attended. I’m not sure I could afford James Hubbell stained glass windows of the size I would need to replace the ones I already have in the church, but if money were no object, that’s the direction I’d go.
But! The stained glass windows we already have are great! And they’re already here and don’t need to be replaced! And they’re part of the history of the building and the community in which they reside! So why get rid of them? The answer is: Why indeed. They stay, and I’m glad to have them and have them be a part of the character of the building. We’ll be doing enough to upgrade the church. This is one part that’s worth keeping as is.