Deep blues pull on the soul in this most incredible space of artistic heaven. This Church never fails to utterly floor me while raising me up to a spiritual and artistic high. An absolute treasure.
About 30 years ago I discovered this jewel of a church, All Saints in Tudeley cum Capel, Kent. Entirely filled with stained glass windows by Chagall. This tiny unimposing church nestled on the edge of a small village is one of the most spectacular jewels in the UK.
Sarah, the daughter of Sir Henry and Lady d’Avigdor-Goldsmid drowned in a sailing accident off Rye. Her parents commissioned Chagall to create an alter widow to her memory. When Chagall arrived for the dedication of the window in 1967 he decided he wanted to do all the windows and over the next 11 years or so he did just that. Making it the only place in the world with all its windows by Marc Chagall.
If you can find time on a sunny day to pay a visit you will be treated to the wonder of the windows moving across the flag stones. Sitting at the rear of the church by one of the yellow windows called Hope you are bathed in golden light. On all the other sides the rich blue contemplative windows pulse with deep warm hues like darkest sapphires.
As you move around the space the windows unfold with biblical tales and a spiritual story unfolds beginning with Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden.
There are angels, asses, birds and fish. Flowers and butterflies. Faces and hands reach out from all around too. This is probably Chagall’s zenith in stained glass and it is here in Kent. A perfect gallery of utter glory. When I visited today with Debi Angel, rather appropriately and we were the only two visitors so we had an absolute ball exploring the glass in total detail. I sang too and we shared a sound healing session as Debi stood and absorbed the healing blues of the window that contained Chagall’s wife VAVA as an angel.
Nine of the 12 windows spill out with the blue light. There is a single window with pinks and greens. Some contain flashes of reds and purples but it is only when you turn to leave that are you faced with two splendid yellow windows, Joy and Hope to lift your spirits back up from meditative worship to return to the real world.
On opening the door to leave you can be struck by how less beautiful the natural world seems after the colour intense experience of Chagall’s vision. Please find time to visit here it is the most wonderful art experience as well as deeply spiritually moving.
The details are so incredible and you can even find traces of his finger prints in the panels. I have been here so many times and yet I see new things every time. Today’s big learn was seeing Sarah in spirit in red above the crucifix on the alter window creating a huge question mark as if to ask God why she had to die? I can only say that she died so that these windows might be created in her memory. A huge loss to her family but a massive gain to us all from the art in which she forever lives on.
I’m not sure this is really meant to be there but it’s what I took away from it today. I often ask why my brother dies when he was 23 and I was 17 and I shall never understand why. But seeing this window brings me great comfort and strength.