Speaking at the Priory Church of St Mary’s, Aberagvenny, on Easter Day Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Chair of the Jeremy Winston Memorial Fund said:
At the service of thanksgiving in January for the life of Father Jeremy, you may recall that our vicar launched an appeal to create a permanent memorial.
Despite the fact that Father Jeremy at his death was the recently installed Dean of Monmouth, Bishop Dominic is keen that a permanent memorial to the life of this remarkable man should be here, at St Mary’s, where he served for 18 years. This course of action has been endorsed by St Mary’s with Christchurch Parochial Church Council.
For the last few weeks, a small team of people has been working on what form this memorial may take. For some time before he left Abergavenny, Father Jeremy had been planning how the Lewis Chapel could be renovated, including, among other things, opening the blocked window and lowering the door on the north side.
An integral part of Father Jeremy’s plan was to create a stained glass window showing the ‘missing tree’ part of the Jesse tree, of which our ancient and famous figure of Jesse would form the base.
Inspired by that dream, the memorial fund group is exploring the creation of that stained glass window, as phase one of the wider Lewis Chapel project. The Jesse figure would be moved to the east end of the chapel, where it used to be. It will be raised up higher than it is now and the current east window replaced by a stained glass interpretation of the tree.
So, walking down the north aisle, both worshippers and visitors would see the world-renowned Jesse figure recumbent above the altar, with the family tree of the House of David depicted in stained glass above him, culminating in Christ Triumphant.
All of this depends, as you can imagine, upon the success of our fundraising. But when this plan comes to fruition it will be a wonderful tribute to a man of deep spirituality, of true integrity, and of great humour - a priest to whom we all owe so much.
With your help we can make this a reality. We have already raised some £6,000 towards our objective of raising locally £20,000. There are events planned throughout the year, including the Jeremy Winston Birthday Lunch on the 20th of May, at the Priory Centre.
You may wish to make a donation on this Easter Day, in which case please do so in one of the envelopes and mark it Memorial Fund. Please gift aid if you are able. Donation cheques should be made payable to the Jeremy Winston Memorial Fund and sent to St Mary’s. Details of setting up a standing order for the fund will be available in the next parish magazine.
This church, and its environs, owes so much to the vision of Fr Jeremy, helped by so many people, it would be wonderful if we could continue that good work.
We believe that realising his vision for the Jesse tree in the Lewis chapel would be a fitting way to remember him.