The Bowyers' Window at St Botolphs, Bishopsgate
The Company traditionally holds its service for the installation of their new Master in the church of St Botolph without Bishopsgate. After the two bombs at St Mary Axe (10th April 1992) and Bishopsgate (24th April 1993) that caused great damage to the Church, the Company wished both to help in the rebuilding and to strengthen its ties with the Church. Thus was born the idea of a Memorial Window.
When the Bowyers Company first approached Nicola Kantorowicz about the possibility of a stained glass window, the ideas of the original brief were quite traditional. However she believed that contempory glass has a place in to-days' church. She felt the ideas could be taken further, and if treated in an abstract manner the window could be far more expressive and powerful.
By combining the yew leaves and the long curve of the bow Nicola created a design which grows and moves upwards, perhaps suggesting resurrection or rebirth. The colours of the bows lend themselves to fire and light and the suggestion of a crucifix gives a spiritual element to the window.
From the original sketch, a full size cutline is prepared and the panels cut from a variety of antique glasses. Antique stained glass is hand blown and each piece is unique. Mixing and matching colours and textures together the glass is cut and assembled on easels ready for painting. The fine details of the leaves and the shield are painted and the pieces fired in a kiln. Once this stage is complete the panels are assembled with lead and cemented to weatherproof. The complete panels are then installed on site.
The inscription reads:
To mark the restoration of the Church after the St Mary Axe and Bishopsgate bombs
Presented by the Worshipful Company of Bowyers 1997
The window is signed "NICOLA KANTOROWICZ 1997"
The window was dedicated by the Rt Rev and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, at a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the restoration of the church held on Friday 10th January 1997. The service was taken by the Rector of St Botolph's, the Rev Prebendary Alan Tanner (Chaplain to the Bowyers' Company), there was a Reading by the Master, Peter Begent, and the Lesson was read by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Roger Cork (a Past Master of the Company).