The Stained
Glass Museum

Talks and lectures in 2020

Annual Lecture 2020

Old Craft, New Art: An Artistic Journey in Stained Glass

An illustrated talk by Helen Whittaker MA FMGP, Barley Studio, York

Wednesday 15 July 2020, 7pm (UK BST)


We are delighted to announce that Helen Whittaker will be our speaker for the 2020 Annual Lecture. This will now take place online in the form of a webinar.

Numbers are limited. Please register/purchase a ticket using the link below. The webinar link will be circulated to all registered attendees prior to the event.

Tickets: £5 (Free for Friends of The Stained Glass Museum)

Book tickets now

Helen Whittaker is Creative Director to Barley Studio, York, a stained glass firm internationally renowned for both conservation and new work. She is an award-winning designer of stained glass windows and architectural sculpture in glass and copper, with over 100 commissions in prestigious ecclesiastical and secular buildings across the UK.

Helen Whittaker
Helen is a Court Member (the executive body) of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, chairing the judging panel for the national Stevens Architectural Glass Competition. She is a Brother of the Art Workers Guild, a Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters and a Craft Scholar of the Prince’s Foundation, having received the prestigious Hancock Medal for High Achievement from the Prince of Wales.

In the past few years Helen has created a new window for the RAF Club, London, which was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen, exhibited at the Prince and Patron exhibition for Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, and worked in collaboration with David Hockney RA on the creation of The Queen’s Window for Westminster Abbey. In 2019 Helen was selected to help promote the United Kingdom Government’s international ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign to showcase British talent in the creative sector. As part of this campaign, two of her artworks promoting GREAT British Design and Craft are currently featured on posters at Manchester and Gatwick International Airports.

Autumn Lecture Series

Our 2020 Autumn lecture series comprises of three lectures.

All talks take place in Ely Cathedral Education & Conference Centre, Palace Green, Ely, CB7 4EW

Individual Tickets: £12 / £10 for Friends of The Stained Glass Museum

Series Tickets: £30 / £25 for Friends of The Stained Glass Museum

Individual tickets can be purchased below


A Journey through Suffolk: Seven Centuries of Stained Glass

Wednersday 30 September 2020, 2pm

Simon Knott (author of Suffolk Churches and Norfolk Churches websites)

Simon Knott has spent many years journeying around Suffolk documenting its stained glass. His online databases Suffolk Churches and Norfolk Churches are full of interesting information about his journey and discoveries of over seven centuries of stained glass. From fragments of C15 glass especially with subjects that have not been previously identified, to Suffolk's rich collections of C16/C17 continental glass, C18 amateurs and the C19 revival, the C20 work by the Rope cousins, and some really good C21 work by the likes of Pippa Blackall, Tom Denny and Helen Whittaker.


George Hedgeland’s magnum opus and his legacy: The West Window in Norwich Cathedral

Wednesday 7 October 2020, 2pm

David Berwick (Senior Guide at Norwich Cathedral, and author of The West Window in Norwich Cathedral –a Colourful History, published in 2019)

West Window at NorwichThe west window of Norwich Cathedral was one of the largest and most acclaimed stained glass windows made by George Caleb Hedgeland. The colourful typological window fills the large gothic window structure originally built between 1449/51 and funded by the estate of former Bishop of Norwich, William Alnwick (1426-36) who died in 1449. Early information about the medieval window is rather elusive, however, recorded information from the late 17th century is more plentiful. The re-glazing by George Caleb Hedgeland in 1854 sparked considerable national controversy concerning its bold colouring, the subject matter and its scant regard for the previously accepted rules concerning ‘typology’. The design was as groundbreaking as it was rule breaking and it was set to generate utterly opposing views for several decades.

David Berwick is a senior Guide at Norwich Cathedral and has been in post there for thirteen years. Since 2012 he has written and published three books on various aspects of the cathedral’s history, the most significant of which is The West Window in Norwich Cathedral –a Colourful History which was launched in July 2019. A fourth project The Mediaeval Misericords of Norwich Cathedral – A 600th Anniversary Appreciation is currently in progress with publication due late October 2020. David has also written three other books on topics of Norwich and Norfolk local history and he also publishes titles for a charity that supports the nationally famous 'Strike School’ in the village of Burston, Norfolk. Every year David gives many local history lectures on a diverse range of subjects to clubs and societies in Norfolk. Before retiring David was a Publishing Executive for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office specialising in high quality art and academic books for national museums, art galleries and government bodies. He is a keen pianist, church organist and composer. Other interests include numismatics, gardening and bird watching.

"Some Sort of Church Artist”: Navigating the path between tradition and modernity

Wednesday 14 October 2020, 2pm

Aidan McRae Thompson (Stained Glass Artist, and author of Stained Glass, published in 2018)

Thompson Opposing forcesAs an artist whose commissions are almost exclusively ecclesiastical, working in an ancient medium for an equally ancient institution presents all kinds of challenges. Artistic freedom is frequently challenged by more conservative forces desiring a more pictorial approach, and trying to turn such limitations to an advantage isn't always easy. Aidan McRae Thompson is someone to whom a more illustrative style comes naturally and whilst he considers it unlikely that his work will be considered in the vanguard of modernism, he hopes it will neither be considered regressively traditional either. The trick is often finding a path between the two acceptable to both artist and client.

Aidan McRae Thomson BA Hons has worked as an artist in stained glass since graduating from Swansea's Architectural Stained Glass course in 1996. He spent several years working as a conservator for Norgrove Studios in Redditch before becoming freelance and has since worked on many new commissions in the Midlands, particularly for Catholic churches in the Birmingham Archdiocese. His designs often tend to be of a more figurative, illustrative idiom as church art often demands. Aidan's work is informed by his long interest in the history of the medium and in particular being inspired by the achievements of illustrious predecessors (and contemporaries) whose work he often travels to see and photograph with a view to sharing online in the hope of broadening awareness of the possibilities in the medium. A result of this work is my recent publication serving as an introduction top the subject, upon which I hope to expand in future. Having been interested in church art & architecture since an early age he also has a wealth of photographic material online, much of which he has used for lectures on different aspects of stained glass art. His recemt book Stained Glass (Amberley Publishing, 2018) serving as a chronological introduction to the subject was published in 2018.

Cancellation Policy - Events

The Stained Glass Museum operates a cancellation policy for events bookings.

Refunds & Cancellations
For cancellations made more than 28 days in advance we offer a full refund of your ticket price.
For cancellations made between 14 and 28 days in advance we will offer a 50% refund.
For cancellations made less than 14 days in advance we are unable to offer a refund, although you are welcome to transfer your event booking to someone else.

Please bear in mind that the Stained Glass Museum is a registered charity (No.1169842) and in order to operate successfully it’s important that we adhere to this policy.

Cancellation of events by the Museum
Under rare or exceptional circumstances the Museum may have to cancel events. If a cancellation is necessary, we will do our utmost to contact you by phone or email as soon as possible before the event. You will be offered a full refund. Please note The Stained Glass Museum is not liable for any costs associated with travel or accommodation. Please bear this in mind when booking travel or accommodation in advance.



Last edited: Wednesday, 8 July, 2020 12:03

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