In 2015 we celebrated our 150th anniversary and as part of our Jubilee celebrations we held a whole host of events throughout the year with something for everyone to enjoy, from a family fun day to a Songs of Praise service. Leading on from this we also commissioned some young artists from Sunderland University to design and install a brand new stained glass window as a long lasting and beautiful memento in the church, this was completed in October 2016 and was made possible by the huge generosity of our parish community and the funds raised through events and direct donations. Since then the same artists have designed additional panes for either side of the altar, when the sunlight hits the glass and the coloured light shines across the Sanctuary it is an absolutely stunning sight.
In 2020 we commissioned the artists involved in the project to complete the final stage and design a new window to replace the existing fire doors on the left-side of the church incorporating an image of our patron, this was installed in the summer of 2021. Both of the windows were designed and installed by Cate Wilkinson & Rita Griskonyte and are a fitting tribute to the previous generations of parishioners who made enormous sacrifice to fund the building of two churches and three schools.
Once the installations were complete there was some money left in the Jubilee Fund and it has been decided to use this to refurbish some of the silverware which belongs to St Aidan’s Parish: a Chalice presented to Fr Savory by the people of Willington Quay in 1930; a Chalice presented by the people of Willington Quay to Fr Cogdan in 1925; a Chalice which has no engraving but was probably made within the same ema and a Ciborium which is dated 1930.
Over the years the generosity of the people of Willington Quay has never ceased to by amazing, and to restore the silverware to its former glory would be a fitting tribute to the sacrifices made. While the silverware already has significant financial value – the pieces are priceless because of what they represent. We hope to have this work completed in time for the celebration of the Feast of St Aidan on 31st August this year.