John Piper
Field: Artist
Location in the Abbey: St Margaret's Church
Type of memorial: Window
Type of material: Glass

A slate plaque in St Margaret's Church Westminster records the fact that John Piper designed the stained glass windows in eight bays of the south aisle, after the Victorian glass there was destroyed by blast during the Second World War. It reads: 

"The windows in this south wall designed by John Piper and executed by Patrick Reyntiens were dedicated by the Bishop of London on the 15th January 1967 to replace those destroyed by enemy action between 1940 and 1942".

John Piper (1903-1992) and Reyntiens had created glass for Coventry cathedral, Eton College Chapel and the Roman Catholic Liverpool cathedral and they were approached to fill the empty windows at St Margaret's. The artist's aim was to create a total impression of living radiance, in shades of silvery grey predominantly with splashes of pale greens, yellows and blues in varied density, to filter the daylight. Windows were given in memory of Canon Carnegie and his wife, Peter Kemp-Welch, Clarence Fletcher and Richard Costain. It is said to be some of their finest work. Piper was buried at Fawley in Buckinghamshire.

Photos of windows can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

"Patrick Reyntiens. Catalogue of stained glass " by Libby Horner.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"The 100 best stained glass sites in London" by Caroline Swash, 2015

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