Photographs: Brenton Brockhouse
Text: Julia Denny-Dimitriou
The name “William Morris” is familiar to many as a British pioneer of the Arts and Crafts movement. However, what may not be so well known is that Adelaide houses the largest collection of Morris artefacts outside of Britain, including 14 identified stained glass windows.
The Anglican Church of All Souls in the suburb of St Peters houses five magnificent windows from the factory of William Morris & Company. This includes a window with a uniquely Australian flavour, and the last Morris window to be installed in Australia. The church is a listed local heritage property.
Partnering with the National Trust, All Souls’ Church has embarked on a fundraising and restoration initiative to repair the 1916 Byzantine-style church and preserve its historic-artistic treasures. Tax deductible donations can now be made to the Conservation Appeal via the National Trust.
Four of All Souls’ five windows produced by Morris and Company were donated in memory of members of the church who died in World War I. This includes a large triple light window – The War Window – installed in the War Memorial Chapel in 1920 dedicated to 18-year-old Kenneth Koeppen Wendt, who was killed in the battle of Bullecourt in 1917. The window is personalised with the khaki uniform and slouch hat of an Australian soldier, details not found in any other reproduction of this window design anywhere in the world.
The last Morris window installed in the church in 1939 was also the last window produced for Australia by the factory of Morris & Company which closed in 1940. Installed in memory of Kenneth Wendt’s father, Hermann Koeppen Wendt, the Peace Window is the perfect partner to The War Window. Fittingly, the two windows are positioned directly opposite one another.
In addition to the five Morris windows, All Souls’ Church boasts seven windows designed by William Bustard and made by R.S. Exton & Company, a well-respected 20th-century Australian glass manufacturer.
The final three windows installed in All Souls’ Church – Trinity, the Crucifixion and Charity – were relocated from St Paul’s Church, Pulteney Street, Adelaide when it was deconsecrated in 1982. All three demonstrate early Australian art, design and manufacture.
All Souls offers guided tours of its stained glass windows as a fund-raising activity. These tours include a brief history of the parish and the construction of the Byzantine-inspired building, followed by a more detailed explanation of each of the windows.
Refreshments served at the conclusion of the tour enable visitors to enjoy the beauty of the windows at their leisure.
To donate to the All Souls National Trust Conservation Appeal: https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/all-souls-anglican-church-st-peters-conservation-appeal/