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Touch of glass to mark 500 years of Altham church
12:00pm Monday 9th December 2013 in News
AN Altham church rounded off its 500-year celebrations with a new stained glass window.
The parish church of St James, in Altham, spent £6,500 to commemorate its quincentenary.
Several events marked the occasion, including a visit by the Archbishop of York on Palm Sunday and the Bishop of Blackburn at an open weekend in July 2012.
Vicar the Rev John Tranter said: “We had a wonderful year of celebration of a rare and important anniversary, but at the end of it we had no permanent memorial of it having taken place. So we decided to do something about it and, after a lot of thought, we decided to commission the design of a new stained glass window as a permanent record of our quincentenary year.”
After months of gathering the appropriate permissions, the new window was installed and has now been dedicated.
The window consists of three panels, dominated by a large blue cross.
The left-hand panel depicts the rural and farming heritage of the parish and the Moorfield colliery, with a plaque nearby showing the names of the men and boys killed in the pit disaster in 1883.
The centre panel shows the church, and the right hand panel shows the future, and consists of a computer circuit board surrounded by planets of the solar system.
Each planet bears the name of a road on the industrial estate opposite the church, while an extra planet, in the shape of a diamond, recognises 2012 was also the Queen’s diamond jubilee. The left and right panels also feature the River Calder, which runs behind the church.
Mr Tranter said: “Hundreds of years ago there was a ford across the river on the main road from Rossendale to Clitheroe.
“The monks at the church would provide food and help to travellers wishing to cross the river.
“The church was known as ‘the church at the ford’.”
A church on the site can be dated back to 1140 with the current church dating to back to when Henry VIII was on the throne.
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