Cathedral Stained Glass Windows and Beverley Shore-Bennett


The stained glass windows on either side of the ambulatory were designed by Beverley Shore-Bennett of Wellington. Those on the left hand side (facing the altar) depict the life of Christ. Those on the right hand side depict sayings from St John’s Gospel.

The West windows above the gallery are of abstract design and are best viewed in the evening light when the sun is low.

Beverley Shore-Bennett said at the dedication of the final three windows in 2005 “Glass is not just beauty, but communication; it should lead you to ponder, recollect and be inspired by the great Christian truths.”

The window designs were realised by two glass collaborators – Paul Hutchins and Stephen Belanger-Taylor. Again at the 2005 dedication Beverley Shore-Bennett commented that “I like to think of the process similar to a composer setting down a symphony on paper but the notes remain just black and white marks until the musicians turn the composition into glorious music. Paul and Stephen’s skill has been superb.”


The glass makers

Stephen Bélanger-Taylor studied at the Royal College of Art, London and since graduating in 1965 has worked on and created stained glass windows in the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand and the USA. The majority of his work is in Canada and New Zealand with his most recent, 2007, being the 3 west windows in the church of St. Thomas, Woodbury, New Zealand. The designs he interpreted into stained glass for the Nave windows at Waiapu Cathedral represented a particular challenge in that they had to 'fit' with existing glass but still give him the creative freedom for his own work.


Beverley Shore-Bennett   

Beverley Shore Bennett MBE was born in Wellington in 1928, descended on both sides from New Zealand pioneers.

She attended Samuel Marsden Collegiate School and while still there joined evening life classes with F.V.Ellis at Wellington Art School. Her love of, and skill in, portraiture was born when she attended special classes with Betty Rhind.

On leaving Marsden she attended full time art school and in 1951 travelled to England spending two years at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting. While there she took part in several exhibitions including at the Royal Academy.

In 1953 Beverley returned home. She married and continued painting portrait commissions. Then in 1969 she was asked to design a window for Wellington Cathedral in memory of the founder of the Holm Shipping Company. This began a wonderful collaboration with glass makers Roy Miller, Paul Hutchins and Stephen Belanger-Taylor. There are now over three hundred of her window designs in New Zealand. Her work in Napier Cathedral began with the four-light west window.

Beverley has also designed and made church vestments and hangings, the largest being the dossal in Wellington Cathedral.

She is the only New Zealand woman to be an elected Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters.

While Beverley is no longer actively involved in design she is kept busy with consultancy work and with family life, and as a lay minister in her Waikanae parish.


Charles Rupert Moore

The stained glass windows in the Chancel were designed by stained-glass artist Charles Rupert Moore, ARCA, FMGP (1904-1982).

Charles Rupert Moore was born in England on 2nd August 1904 and was educated at Doncaster Grammar School.  As he lived near Doncaster race course he learned to draw horses, and his life-long interest in aircraft was aroused by attending the earliest flying meetings there.  He won scholarships to the Sheffield College of Art in 1922 and to the Royal College of Art in 1925, learning the complete art of designing and making stained glass windows.  He won the Anning Bell prize two years running.  Part of his diploma work is included in the memorial window in his old school: a bold combination of St George and the Dragon, with a grim soldier of the Great War, "the unknown warrior" made anonymous by a gas mask.  He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Festival of Britain, and the Hammond Museum, New York.

Moore's windows went all over the world; particularly to the cathedrals at Napier and Auckland, New Zealand; to South Africa, Canada, and the USA, and Casablanca.  In the UK he was well-known for his heraldic glass.  He designed the 17 windows of Lincoln's Inn containing more than three hundred coats of arms and also produced an illuminated manuscript, Lincoln's Inn Heraldry, kept at King's College, Cambridge.  Also in London he has windows in the Law Courts and Gray's Inn.  For Chequers he designed and painted all the panels for Prime Ministers from Sir Winston Churchill onwards.

Moore was a practical man.  His lectures on stained glass concentrated on technique rather than nebulous questions of style;  his first requirements of a window being "to let the light in and keep the weather out".

In 1976 he suffered the first of several strokes but continued to work, until two weeks before his death in 1982.  He was a designer, and later Chief Designer, at Whitefriars Glass Works (also known as James Powell & Son), UK;  he was elected Honorary Vice-President of the British Society of Master Glass Painters in 1978.

(Edited from C.R.Moore's Obituary in 'The Times': 29 July 1982)

C.Rupert Moore designed a series of twelve windows - The Twelve Apostles - for Waiapu Cathedral when it was being designed in the late 1950's, and six were built by James Powell & Sons, Whitefriars, England, and installed in the new cathedral. 

The memorial windows in the chancel on the north side depict Saints John, James and Philip, and on the south side Saints Peter, Andrew and Bartholomew.  The window depicting St John is a memorial to William Williams, first Bishop of Waiapu;  that depicting St James is a memorial to William Lenoard Williams, third Bishop of Waiapu; the St Philip window was presented by the Murray family of Athol; the St Peter window is in memory of William and Mary White of Otane; the St Andrew window is a memorial to Oliver Dean, Vicar of St Andrew's Port Ahuriri; the St Bartholomew window commemorates Herbert Williams, sixth Bishop of Waiapu.


Graham Holland, Leaded Light Solutions Ltd

A Havelock North firm, Leaded Light Solutions Ltd, created and installed a new window designed by Graham Holland, for the Resurrection Chapel within the Cathedral.  This window is a memorial to Kate Williams, daughter of the first Bishop of Waiapu and formerly a Sunday School teacher.  Kate Williams died on the 4th February 1931 as a result of injuries she received while attending a service in the Cathedral when the earthquake demolished the building the previous day.

The Kate Williams Memorial window was blessed by Bishop Andrew Hedge on Sunday 5th February 2017.