FAMILIES will be able to sponsor shards of glass for a stained glass window to represent the people of Canvey.

Staff at St Nicholas’ Church, in Long Road, Canvey, are trying to raise money for a new community stained glass window which will serve as a timeless memento to the people of the island.

The window will comprise of 1,038 shards, 716 of which will be available for people to sponsor and have their name engraved in, as a tribute to a loved one or in celebration of an important event.

The 322 shards which will remain empty will represent the remainder of the community.

Together the pieces will form a Tree Of Life, with each section symbolising one of the leaves.

Reverend Marion Walford said: “The old window had to replaced and we thought it was an ideal opportunity to do something special.

“Once each name is fired into the glass, it can never be removed, so it will provide a snapshot of the community of the moment, of the everyday lives of ordinary people today.”

Residents can sponsor a shard in memory of someone who has died, or in celebration of a baptism, wedding or to honour an extraordinary person.

The church has already had requests from scores of parishioners, one couple in particular wanting to sponsor a shard in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary.

Mrs Walford said: “The interest from people has been very good, so we’re all very excited.”

The stained glass window will be installed on the west side of the church, to correlate with the new stained glass window on the east side which was installed last year.

Work will also be carried out to refurbish the church organ.

Each shard may be sponsored for £160.

Residents can sponsor a piece by contacting the church on 01268 511098 and filling out an application form.