VILLAGERS will be asked to create their own stained glass windows at one of dozens of church Christmas events.
Thousands of extra visitors and newcomers are expected at carol and Christingle services, Christmas tree and crib festivals, festive concerts and children’s Nativities.
Churchgoers from St John’s, Rowlands Castle, have embraced a new type of festival after holding Christmas tree festivals in previous years. They’ll invite community groups to design stained glass windows inside their church from December 9 to 16 as part of the St John’s Created Windows Festival.
Local businesses, churches, St John’s C of E Primary School, and community groups will each be given a perspex frame that fits one of the 16 windows in church and invited to paint them. Those designs will then be back-lit and displayed in church during the week.
Others who visit during the week will be invited to paint part of the window which will fit over the church’s large west window. The design is by local artist and St John’s worshipper Carol Madgwick.
On December 16, the painted window will be placed on top of the original west window and unveiled after a morning service led by the Archdeacon of Portsdown, the Ven Trevor Reader.
Other events throughout the week include a Christingle service at 3pm on Sunday, which will mark the official opening of the festival.
There will be viewing and painting between 10am to 5pm from December 10 to 15. Also on December 15 there will be a Victorian evening beginning at 7.30pm.
The money raised will be divided between the church and the school’s planned outdoor worship area.