Windows I Like: John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens
Whilst the John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens windows of Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and Coventry Cathedral are well known and stunning examples of stained glass integrated with architecture, I’m not so sure that these Piper windows on my doorstep in Bristol are half as well known.
All Saints Church in Clifton, Bristol is far more modest a building than the two formentioned examples but in my opinion is a wonderful piece of 60′s architecture, designed by architect John Potter, which merges religious function and design in harmony with large swathes of coloured light.
I remember feeling slightly let down on my first encounter with these windows many years ago, because, unusually, they are made of coloured resin and fibre glass and lack the brilliance of antique glass. However, on revisiting today I was pleased to find myself feeling very different. The resonating glow of light and atmosphere created by the windows throughout the space is beautiful, and the twin focal windows behind the font are superb representations of the Tree of Life and River of Life in bold, restrained and inventive simplicity. A real overlooked local treasure I think!