Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Ashes bounty

Eric Dutton, the venerable president of the Cardiff Hoteliers' Association has always looked with a favourable and generous eye on what we've attempted to do to make St John's attractive and relevant to the city's offer to visitors. Thanks to him we first had internal floodlights to illuminate the windows on the St John Street side, so that they contributed to the Christmas illuminations. And he's been more than generous in ensuring the extra electricity bills were met. He was a bit nervous about last year's nativity installation for fear of vandalism, but we strode defiantly and triumphantly through the worst case scenario last December in a way that did a power of good to people of good-will in Cardiff

He popped into church to say hello yesterday with the promise of a couple of complementary tickets for the historic Ashes Test Match in the re-vamped Glamorgan County Cricket stadium, due to start tomorrow, with the suggestion that we might like to raffle them for church funds. Well, a bit late to organise that properly, but with eBay, and people who know people around here, maybe the tickets can be put to work for us.

We're almost at the end of a quiet three year fundraising project to replace all the old rusty window guards of the church with new high tensile stainless steel mess guards in unobtrusive black. The transformation has been slow but truly comforting to behold. The exterior looks so much more neat and tidy, and they will not deteriorate like those mounted in 1946 did. They'll last at least half a century, if not longer. They may fall off due to wear and tear on their mounting points before they start to look tired.

It's been a worthwhile achievement, all undertaken by one of our members, Sue Morris, passionate about protecting the beauty of our fine Victorian stained glass, ever since we had a vandal attack on the weekend of her daughter's wedding. Now we're within sight of completion. Only Comper's chancel window remains to be equipped with a new guard. So, the tickets went to Sue to use as fund raisers.

When the old guard comes off for replacement, the window will get its first good wash in several decades before the new one is installed. It's a beautiful classic piece of fin de siecle design and craftsmanship. I hope I will see it in full glory before I retire.

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