Classy glass a perfect project for reborn recycler
A demolition company specialising in churches and architectural antiques hopes 14 stained glass windows salvaged from an Edgeware church will again grace a place of worship in Canterbury.
Paul King, of Graceworks Demolition and Recycling, wants the undamaged windows sold as one lot. He says the windows date from 1937 and were commissioned for a Wesleyan church.
By the time of the September and February quakes, the building was run as an Egyptian Coptic church. It was seriously damaged and demolished last year.
Most of the windows portray a Christian virtue and many quote scripture. King bid on the church demolition job but was not successful. He then approached the owners and bought the windows and some doors.
"I hope to get my money back and get them into a church or place of worship in Christchurch."
King describes himself as a Christian businessman. He spent time in jail and later "found Jesus".
As a builder, he fell into demolition. "I started recycling houses and buildings and discovered that we can recycle lives," he says. "I've been there."
Graceworks specialises in church demolitions. It took down St John's Church in Latimer Square and eight other churches in the province. At the recently demolished Nazareth House convent in Sydenham, King discovered a precious religious vessel - a "monstrance" - that he technically owned under the demolition contract. He nonetheless returned it to the nuns. "We've got to do the right thing."
He's listing the windows on Trade Me for $99,500 to attract serious buyers and says he would accept much less from the right buyer. A number of churches have told him that they would like to look at them when they start their design phase.
The windows were crafted by Christchurch glass firm Bradley Brothers. Some of its work is notable enough to be included in the Christchurch Art Gallery collection.
"Although locally made, and part of Christchurch's heritage, these particular windows on Trade Me would not be counted among the most significant stained glass windows in this city," said Jenny Harper, Art Gallery director. "The Art Gallery is not looking to purchase these."