PARISHIONERS celebrated after a colourful stained glass window was finally installed in their new church.

Families in Canvey have come together to sponsor shards of glass in the new £110,000 window at St Nicholas Church, in Long Road, to serve as a snapshot of the island past and present.

The window comprises of 1,038 shards, 716 of which have been engraved with names and dates to serve as a tribute to loved ones and special events.

The 322 remaining shards have been left blank to represent the rest of the community.

Church goers expressed their delight as the finished product was finally installed earlier this week after a year in the making.

Reverend Marion Walford said: “The window looks absolutely amazing, we are so grateful to everyone who helped sponsor a piece. Everyone who has come in just lights up when they see it, which is wonderful.”

Together the pieces form a form a tree of life, with each section symbolising one of the leaves.

Colours for each piece were chosen especially so that when the sun shines through the window, it gives the illusion the tree is moving.

John Bray, the artist behind the project, said: “I am very pleased with how the window has turned out as it was thoroughly enjoyable working with the community to put it together. The idea behind it was really to bring people together, and provide them with a memento which will hopefully last forever.

“One lovely moment was seeing the girls and boys in the church dancing in all the colours on the floor when the light shone through. Hopefully this is something the people on Canvey will really cherish.”

A special dedication ceremony will be held on Sunday January 20 for everyone who sponsored a shard to come along and view the finished window.

For more information contact the church on 01268 511098.