Church's tribute to RAF Scampton with new stained glass window

A Lincolnshire church is paying tribute to RAF Scampton with a new stained glass window.

The window, set to be installed at Scampton Church, contains 380 hand-painted pieces of glass and depicts the heritage of RAF Scampton.

It includes the diamond formation of the Red Arrows, a Lancaster bomber and a Vulcan aircraft, as well as an aerial view over the RAF base.

Claire Williamson, the stained glass artist responsible for the window, said she is still "fairly terrified" of somebody finding something she hasn't "quite got right" with the aircraft – especially the Lancaster Bomber.

"They were very specific about which type of Lancaster bomber it had to be, even down to getting the camouflage on it and things like that, trying to get that right for the specific plane," she said.

Now, after around two years of work, only the final touches are left to complete before the window is installed.

Joe Bartrop, project coordinator at Scampton Church, said he thinks the window is "absolutely fantastic".

"I particularly love the way that the aircraft seem to have a 3D effect, even without the light behind it, and the pattern of the Red Arrows in a perfect diamond nine, I love that as well."

The window is being used as a new way for Scampton Church to acknowledge its history with the RAF. 

Scampton Church has more than 100 RAF war graves in its churchyard.
Scampton Church has more than 100 RAF war graves in its churchyard.

Reverend Susan Deacon said the church "used to be full of RAF officers" from the nearby base.

"It was their church and they used to come here to remember their comrades.

"We have over 100 RAF war graves in our churchyard and so we're very involved with the RAF here," she added.

The original concept was to celebrate the 100-year relationship between the church and the RAF base.

But with RAF Scampton due to close next year, Mr Bartrop acknowledged that the idea may have "expanded".

"It will be a lasting memory to all the squadrons and personnel that have served there through the generations."

A group of campaigners is hoping to turn RAF Scampton into a heritage site after its closure.

As well as being home to the Red Arrows, RAF Scampton is also the site from which the famous Dambusters raid was launched in 1943 during the Second World War.

The Red Arrows will remain in Lincolnshire once Scampton closes, moving to RAF Waddington.