A LOCAL historian has helped kickstart a campaign to preserve the stained-glass windows at a church.

Christine Armstrong recently took members of the St Margaret’s Church, Altrincham, Ladies Fellowship on a pictorial meander through the church’s history and a Kaleidoscope of Colour featuring its stained glass windows.

The greatest puzzle was why the 7th Earl of Stamford ever decided to build a church in a deserted part of Altrincham with few surrounding houses.

It was partly a reaction to the snobbish attitude of the local gentry when, aged 18, and at University in 1845, he eloped with the daughter of a college servant, who he replaced with a circus performer after she died in 1854.

Building took place for five years between 1851 and 1855.

Christine explained how the church had moved from ‘low’ church to ‘high’ church during the Oxford Tractarian movement and how, throughout its history and despite alterations, it had always been called ‘beautiful’ none more so than its stained glass windows.

Christine showed images of them in blues greens. reds and golds, They told bible stories about the wedding at Cana, Christ’s miracles including raising the dead and one, near the organ, showing a woman who washed Christ in expensive oils is captioned “She hath done what she could” referring to her teaching, clothing and feeding of the poor.*

The glasswork now contains holes and is broken and its repair which has become urgent, will cost £30,000 so the church have launched a fundraising scheme.

The church treasurer, Paul Zijlstra, said: “To date a member of our church has raised £1,500 from a sponsored bike ride but we would love to hear from anyone who can suggest grant making organisations to us.”

“To donate to the Save the Windows campaign, send a cheque to St Margaret’s PCC. c/o St Margaret’s Church, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4AQ or, for more information, email admin@dunhamchurch.com.