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The Story of the Famous Stained Glass Windows at St Thomas à Becket Church' by Caroline Swash

Saturday 22nd June at 7.30 pm

St Thomas à Becket Church






Caroline Swash will talk about the background to the beautiful series of stained glass windows created by her father and grandfather - Edward and Henry Payne - for St Thomas à Becket Church.

Caroline has created stained glass windows for Gloucester, Salisbury and Portsmouth Cathedrals and several churches in the UK and USA. She has written extensively on architectural stained glass and is currently working on the biographies of her father and grandfather.

Caroline began making her own windows in 1965 and has since been combining commissions in stained glass with family life, writing, painting and teaching.

She was Hon Secretary of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, tutor at Central St Martins College of Art and Design and in charge of the two year post graduate glass course. 

She and her husband set up the Malvern Arts Press in 2000. Publications include ‘14 stained glass walks in London’ with Ginger Ferrell, ‘Medical Science and Stained Glass’, ‘Glass at Central’ by Hildegard Pax and ‘The 100 best Stained Glass Sites in London’ published in 2015

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Kington Community Choir Summer Concert.

Friday 28th June 7.30pm.

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Burton Hotel, Kington

Tickets £5 at the door


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'Restoring Our Rivers By Any Means Necessary!' - Kate Speke-Adams

Friday 11th October at 7.30


St Thomas à Becket Church

Kate’s talk will explain the broad range of work undertaken by the Wye & Usk Foundation and describe how the Foundation seeks to address specific pressures on our rivers including:

  • Access to spawning grounds for migratory fish

  • Habitat conditions in the Wye including gravel supplies for fish spawning, bankside protection and eradication of non-native invasive species

  • Water quality including the impact of pesticides on drinking water supplies & phosphate levels causing eutrophication in the river.

  • Water quantity, both high and low flows and the implication for residents of the river and the county.

Kate heads up a team of Catchment Advisers at the Foundation, which seeks to reduce diffuse pollution arising from agriculture throughout the catchment. Kate grew up on a dairy farm in North Herefordshire and this, combined with experience gained from working for the Environment Agency, gives her a well balanced view on the risks and opportunities that agriculture can offer the water environment.

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The Narrow Road -

Review by Liz MacCurrach

A haunting Palestinian song and the sound of crickets, the bright spotlights and eyes crinkled against the sun launched us straight into the sounds, heat and smells of Judea 2000 years ago.

The progress of the story is held together powerfully by a ‘travel guide’. The book is passed between the 4 actors and describes the surroundings and the direction the road is taking. The journey is also emphasized by the actors carrying packs and seeming to be on the move, and several vignettes are roadside encounters

I’ve chosen a few of the encounters to highlight. Jesus arguing with the scribes and Pharisees, as a teenager, showed me so clearly that Jesus was all about the inner man whereas the elders of Israel were all about rules.  A moving dialogue with the woman at the well reminds me that there is no right place to worship God, no one race or colour – but we must worship in ‘spirit and in truth’ and that Jesus will give us ‘living water’. We eaves drop on a clever scene between Caiaphas and Barabbas plotting, which made me question whether today there isn’t still a power struggle going on? We are privy to a very intimate last supper where Jesus gently and lovingly washed his disciples’ feet, all the while modeling the servant heart.

We then go to the garden of Gethsemane where we hear Jesus pleading with God. A silent angel appears and seems to give him strength. In a background vision we see Jacob laying his son Isaac on an alter to slay him. As Jesus begs for another solution, a ram is spotted caught in briers and Isaac gets his reprieve. There is no ‘scapegoat’ for Jesus. This scene envelops me and is so visceral, Jesus struggling with the temptation to run and the heavens seem silent…… it almost breaks my heart.

But there is still more, at the last a massive cross is suddenly revealed with red silk hanging from it and Jesus is sacrificed on the alter below. It is a violent and shocking end. He cries out those memorable words from Psalm 22, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” You and I who have never learned the Torah by heart would think, “Yes, where are you God?” But Jesus knew those gathered round the cross would immediately know how that prophetic psalm continues.

“Yes!” they would say, “Yes, this is He, the promised one, the one we have been waiting for. He is our sacrifice, our Saviour, who died once for all”.

And so, in Him we can decide, as those travelers did on a dusty road, whether to choose love or hate,  peace or violence, light or darkness, and follow the narrow road.

(Reviewed by Trish MacCurrach. The Narrow Road by the Riding Lights Theatre Company, St Andrew’s Presteigne 10 Apr)