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The Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist (also known as St John's Cathedral) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Portsmouth, England. It was opened in 1882 and is the first cathedral to have been built in Portsmouth. It is the mother church of the Portsmouth diocese and seat of the Bishop of Portsmouth, currently the Right Reverend Philip Egan. It was dedicated on 10 August 1882.
The community of St John’s Cathedral, the centre of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, is appealing for help after the wild storms of 2022, led to the near collapse of the Catholic cathedral’s striking West Window.
The treasured West Window was designed by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake and it is made up of six lights (vertical sections) and three large tracery cinquefoils plus associated eyelets. The window was first installed in 1906 and covers a total area of 228 square feet or 70 square metres and contains approximately 9,700 panes of glass.
It exquisitely depicts six adored Catholic saints, including, St Swithun, St John the Evangelist, St Mary Immaculate, St Edmund, St John the Baptist, and St Wilfred.
The window first began to collapse earlier this year after the leadwork began to deteriorate, requiring scaffolding to be erected to hold it in place. In early July, specialist contractors removed the glass to their workshop for restoration.
The total cost of restoring the window is estimated to be £100,000 and so an appeal urging worshippers and visitors to show their support.
Writing in the weekly, diocesan E-News, Fr McAuley explained: “The total cost of the restoration project is expected to be more than £100,000, which is far beyond the means of the cathedral parish, situated in one of the poorest parts of the diocese.
“The cost of restoration of the image of each saint is about £5,000, and of each of the 9,700 pieces, the cost is just over £10.
If you would like to donate any amount, perhaps in memory of a loved one, to help defray the cost of the restoration it would be greatly appreciated and will help preserve this Diocesan asset for generations to come. The names of donors will be recorded in a special commemorative book and will be housed at the Cathedral.