The Caroline Chisholm Stained Glass Window

StainGlassWindowWhen we were asked to produce designs for a contemporary window to commemorate the life of the pioneer and educationalist Caroline Chisholm, we jumped at the chance and a group of twelve artistically able students from the primary and secondary phases were invited to participate in the project. This was a rare opportunity for our students, to see their drawings and paintings transformed into a stained glass window to be installed in the architecturally significant and beautiful Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Northampton. The designs symbolise the journeys of female emigrants to India and Australia and the experiences and struggles they faced on arrival. The winding paths represent a journey, the sunshine and the water represent the environment, the teardrops and spiky plants represent hopes and fears. Caroline Chisholm’s hands-on work in Emigration Welfare Reform helped to give emigrants, particularly women and girls a brighter future in their new homelands through education and development of practical skills including sewing, tailoring and mending.

The designs were very well received and interpreted beautifully by the artist Rachael Aldridge of Aldridge Glass; the window was subsequently installed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Caroline Chisholm was married. In addition to the funding contributed by the Church and Caroline Chisholm School, Wootton, our sister school Caroline Chisholm Catholic College in Melbourne, Australia also contributed.


Tuesday 2nd June saw the Dedication of the Caroline Chisholm Window in the presence of a number of distinguished guests including:

The Rt. Revd. John Holbrook, Anglican Bishop of Brixworth; The Rt. Revd. Peter Doyle, Roman Catholic Bishop of Northampton; The Revd. Michael Hills, Minister of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; The Churchwardens and PCC; Mr Andrew Todd

Deputy High Commissioner of Australia; Dr Martin Gaskell, Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire; Dr Ahmed Mukhtar, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire; Penelope Flavell and Consort, The Mayor of Northampton; Cllr. Tony Ansell, Northampton Borough Council; Rachael Aldridge, Artist of stained glass

Mr Tony Downing, Principal of Caroline Chisholm School, Miss Sue Rose and Mrs Katherine Patterson, Vice Principals of Caroline Chisholm School, Mr David Atkinson, Chair of Governors – CCS, Mrs Carole Wilkie, Subject Leader for Visual Art; Mr Stephen Walker KS4 Leader for Visual Art and a number of the students who participated in the project, along with their parents and family members.

J Shoker discusses her participation in the Caroline Chisholm Window Project with Mr Andrew Todd, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia

The following students were involved in the project, working collaboratively on the designs under the guidance of Mrs Wilkie and Mr Walker:

R Acum, O White, K Dickson, C Timlin, T Akintoye, D Dankwah,
G Pontollilo, A Burgham, L Reid, J Shoker
A Nobbs, S Murphy-Curry

We are delighted to see the beautiful Caroline Chisholm Window designed by our students and created by Rachael Aldridge installed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; a fitting tribute to Caroline’s life and work. The last window to be installed in the church was designed by the highly regarded artist and designer, William Morris in 1920. Mr Downing and the staff of CCS are immensely proud of our students’ involvement in this amazingly rare project and encourage you to go and view the window, to appreciate its true beauty.