Historic church near Peterborough has important stained glass window saved

Work carried out by National Highways as part of A47 scheme
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An important stained glass window at a historic church near Peterborough has had vital repair work carried out to save it for generations to come.

National Highways funded crucial heritage work to repair seven windows of St Michael and All Angels Church in Sutton.

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Sutton Church is a grade I listed building, whose origins can be traced back to around 1120, and sits close to the planned route for a section of the A47 road between Wansford and Sutton set to be transformed into a dual carriageway.

St Michael and All Angels church in SuttonSt Michael and All Angels church in Sutton
St Michael and All Angels church in Sutton

Following a recent architectural survey – something that is mandatory every five years on all Church of England buildings – it was uncovered that a number of windows in the church required specialist conservation work.

This included the ‘east window’ which is regarded as the most significant as it overlooks the alter, is the largest window in the church, and contains stained glass depicting the story of The Good Samaritan.

A further six windows also required repair. The lead in four had deteriorated to such an extent they were beginning to rattle in the wind and what is known as the ‘saddle bars’ – which are the metal struts that anchor a window to the surrounding stonework of the building – had corroded and were beginning to damage the fabric of the building around all seven windows.

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The restoration began in May and was completed in October. During the process, each window was carefully removed before being sensitively repaired. Over 95% of the original features and glass were restored and the rusted iron bars replaced with phosphor bronze to avoid corrosion and weather damage in the future.

Peter Lee, a member of the Parochial Church Council for St Michael and All Angels, said the funding was incredibly helpful and came at just the right time for the local community. He said: “Sutton church isn’t only a place to worship, it’s been a community facility for a number of years and plays a key part in supporting many positive aspects to village life.

“We know that as things get older they often need a bit of help along the way, and the funding from National Highways has enabled us to undertake these vital repairs.

“It might not be quite as dramatic as a ‘save the church roof appeal’ but the restoration work on the windows has been no less important. The windows of a church are part of its character, and we are very grateful for the support from National Highways in helping to bring them back to their former glory.”

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Nearby work on the £100m project that will see a 1.6-mile section of the A47 dualled began earlier this year, ahead of major construction starting early next year. The new road is expected to open to traffic in 2026.

Andrew Gosling – Designated Funds Manager for National Highways in the East Region – said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to help Peter and the work of the church to safeguard and protect the long-term future of this wonderful building.

“This is a great example of what our designated funds programme is for – making a positive contribution to the communities around the strategic road network.”