Grantham - Machine Gun Corps

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Reference WMO/267958


St Mary's Catholic Church

1 N Parade


NG31 8AT


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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Stained glass window
  • First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial: Little more than the façade of E.J. William’s building of 1832 survives. Classical, ashlar-faced, a kind of tower almost completely engaged by the nave wall. Bell-turret with circular bell-openings and cupola. The rest is enveloped by extensions and re-ordering by Gerard Goalen, 1966. The altar. now facing north, is set in a big canted apse with large arched windows high up. The chancel of the old church has become the baptistery. To the south a much less fortunate flat-roofed entrance lobby linking the church to the c18 presbytery Source – Pevsner-Lincolnshire The following is abstracted from the Historical Notes of the Machine Gun Corps Memorial Window by Robert J. Hirst. There is now only one stained-glass window in the church of St. Mary the Immaculate, Grantham. It is in the south wall of the church, opposite the sanctuary, depicts the Annunciation. However, all is not as it may seem. Careful comparison of this window with those in the east wall of the church, which are unchanged since the church was built in 1832, gives the first clue. The Annunciation widow is significantly shorter. This is a consequence of the works involved in the re-ordering of the church in 1965 following the Second Vatican Council. The design of those works required the provision of a new porch and entrance / “crying” corridor and the breaching of the south wall in order to give access to the re-designed church. The necessary headroom could only be achieved by raising the sills of the existing windows. Sadly in the case of the stained glass window, this had the devastating effect not only in destroying about twenty percent of the design, but also of obliterating the purpose and dedication of the window, unveiled and dedicated 7th September 1919 Between 1965 and 1998 there was no formal indication of the provenance of the window. However, on Remembrance Sunday 1998, Father Brendon O’Callaghan unveiled and blessed a square marble plaque [200mm square x 30mm thick] upon which the dedication to the Machine Gun Corps was inscribed. This plaque is mounted below and to on side of the window itself. On Saturday 25th July 2009, prior to a progress meeting of the Machine Gun Corps History Project at Belton House, a new memento was dedicated and installed close to the window. The memento was presented, in memory of their forbears who served in the Camps at Harrowby and Belton Park, by the Machine Gun Corps History Project.
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