All Saints' Church or stained glass gallery?

Karen Christian as an artist was inspired by the stained glass and has her work on display at Eltham's Village Gallery ...
JANE MATTHEWS/FAIRFAX NZ

Karen Christian as an artist was inspired by the stained glass and has her work on display at Eltham's Village Gallery at the moment.

A series of stained glass windows that have been installed for decades can now be admired by the public. 

The All Saints' Church in Eltham has opened its doors six days a week so its stained glass windows can be recognised as an artwork.

Regional Administrator for Central Taranaki Anglican Church Karen Christian said that for years the windows  had been admired from a distance by the public. 

"We always had people coming in off the street because they saw all the windows on the outside of the building and wanted to come in and have a look," she said. 

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"They tell a biblical story but can also be admired as an art."

Christian and a few others put a book together so visitors could discover the meaning behind each of the windows. "There's 17 windows all together, and most of them are memorials," Christian said. "We've researched some of them and got this book together about the craft and the art of the stained glass." 

Most of the windows were installed in the 1950s and 60s and were created in England by G. Maile and his son. 

"Each piece of that glass that you see is handpainted," Christian said.

Some of the windows have New Zealand themes and history and one in particular is a tribute to the 'nurses' accident' that happened on Mt Taranaki. 

The Julie Cassels Memorial is not stained glass but it catches the first rays of the sun every morning and casts the colours of the rainbow. 

Christian said it was devoted to Julie Cassels, one of the five people who died on the mountain in Taranaki's worst alpine tragedy during 1953.  Her father was a significant member of the church. 

Christian is an artist herself and has recently captured pictures of the stained glass that are currently on display in the community art exhibition. 

"They have inspired and continue to inspire artists," she said. 

The church was built in 1903 and is made of rimu wood and still has many of it's original handcrafted features.

The Eltham All Saints' Church is just off the main street at 88 King Edward Street and open to the public every day but Monday. 

 - Stuff

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