A STUNNING stained glass window is the newest addition to a church celebrating its 175th anniversary.

More than 100 people took part in a moving service to celebrate the new window at Christ Church Harwood.

The congregation packed into the church on Sunday evening to witness the unveiling of a stained-glass window that has been two-and-a-half years in the making.

The brightly coloured window in the Lomax Chapel features orange flames and depicts the outpouring of the spirit, to symbolise the Bible verse ‘I will pour out my spirit on all people.’ To mark the occasion, volunteers set up floodlights outside the church to make the window shine when the Bishop of Bolton, Rt Rev Chris Edmondson, unveiled it during a 90-minute ceremony of hymns, readings and prayers.

Taking part in that service was church volunteer Rebecca Webster, who has been working tirelessly on the design with Breightmet-based stained-glass artist Andrew Seddon since June, 2011.

Church leaders wanted to mark the building’s 175th anniversary in 2015 with a new feature and persuaded parishioners to each pledge £35 towards the window, which has 492 pieces of coloured glass.

After the ceremony, Ms Webster said: “Seeing the window up there is overwhelming. It has been a really beautiful service.

“Everybody has been so supportive. It has been a real team effort. There were a lot of people involved in making it happen.”

Many of the church’s windows are partially obscured by protecting mesh but the new window is protected by transparent polycarbonate glass, which makes it easier to see.

Mr Seddon said: “The clear protection on the outside allows the window to be seen from the outside. It’s a signpost to get people into the church.”

Rt Rev Edmondson added: “Even during the service, there were people outside the church stopping and looking at it, so the window is already sparking interest.”

In recent years, some of Bolton’s churches have been dogged by vandalism and lead theft or have become derelict after closure.

Rt Rev Edmonson added: “It’s always sad when a building that has been a place of worship isn’t able to be used any more so I love opportunities like this where something fresh is happening and it’s a reflection of the vibrancy of our church community.”

The church is hosting an open day on Saturday (Oct 19) from 10am to 4pm to give people a chance to see the window.