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All Saints’ Church, Ficksburg, is known far and wide for the beautiful coloured glass windows created by a talented local artist, Helen Dickson, who took a year to complete the work. She took as her theme for the 10 windows the wild flowers which grow around Ficksburg, choosing the flowers for each window to fit the personalities of some of the people commemorated by them. As one enters the church, the three windows in the back wall honour All Saints’ connection with the Diocese of Blackburn in the UK.

Window No 1, featuring Cosmos, Zinnias and a butterfly, was donated by the Bishop of Blackburn. 
Window No 2 depicts purple grapes above a sheaf of wheat with three hedgehogs in front of it. 

These are part of the coat of arms of Bishop Claxton, the then Bishop of Blackburn. 
Window No 3, also donated by the Bishop of Blackburn, is similar to Window No 1 in the back wall. The window in the wall opposite the doorway of the church was donated by the Wille family and features Cussonia (Kiepersol) and Olea africana (Wild Olive) below a white dove. The Rosehips in the window are in memory of Ingrid Wille, who died tragically at a young age. 

The three windows in the left wall commemorate the lives of three staunch members of All Saints’ Church. In creating Window No 1 in loving memory of Winifred Brumage, who was a nursing sister in Ficksburg, the artist chose the reds of the Sutherlandia, Erythrina, Indigofera, Protea caffra and Erica as symbolizing the “red cross”of healing.

In Window No 2, fashioned in memory of Frank andAlice Whitney, the artist’s maternal grandparents, one sees Agapanthus, Watsonias together with wild grasses, Brunsvigia, Nerine, Diersama and Dock clover. In Window No 3, in memory of Alf Payne, she used Aloe saponaria var. Ficksburgiensis, Solanum, Mesembryanthemum to depict his bright and cheery personality and Cotyledons to show his kind and gentle side. 

The three windows on the right hand side of the church also honour the memory of families which over the years had close ties with All Saints’. Window No 1, created in loving memory of John and Helen Tennant, the artist’s paternal grandparents, depicts yellow Primrose, Hibiscus, Tulbechia, Celemaris, Statice and Lubeckia. (With a mischievous twinkle, the artist once said that the prickly nature of the Statice made her think of Granny Tennant.) In Window No 2, created in remembrance of the Annandale and Bowie families, Agapanthus, Lobelia, Scabius Scilla, Lilium canadicans and Aristea can be seen. In Window No 3 the life of Clifford Tilsley is commemorated with Lilies Bulbinella, red-hot pokers and Eucorus.

The cost of the materials for the windows was covered by donations from parishioners. Most of the glass wasmade in Murano, Italy and was brought in in lumps, which were broken inside heavy canvas, after which the splinters and pieces were sorted into bowls for use in the windows. 

The church can be found on the corner of Lang and Piet Retief Streets 
Fr Gareth Jones 051 933 2700

GPS Co-ordinates S 28º 52' 467 — E 027º 52' 371