samuel stretton window

Stretton Memorial Windows

It may be of some help to understand more of the charity's background by looking at the importance of the Stretton family in the medical history of Kidderminster

The will of Antony Stretton directed his executors to arrange for a stained glass window in memory of the three surgeons to be erected in one of the three big churches in Kidderminster. St John the Baptist in Blakebrook was the most appropriate as the church overlooked the site of the new Kidderminster hospital as well as the building estate the sale of the land for which had provided a considerable part of the capital left by Anthony. They were instructed to use the remainder of the estate to set up the various charitable functions that are now performed by the Charity. The Vicar and Churchwardens of St John’s at the time were prepared to allow the stained glass windows to be installed, particularly as it became clear from the information that was revealed by the histories then being written, that the subject matters would be very appropriate for the three clerestory half windows that were available to be filled. A competition was set up to find an artist. Happily when the designs from the three artists shortlisted for the task were considered all three consulted parties involved, the Executors, the Trustees of the Charity, and the family of Antony Stretton were agreed as to the preferred designs.

The windows themselves were dedicated in a special church service on 6th December 2015 by the Bishop of Worcester, The Rt. Reverend Dr John Inge.

The aims of the artist, Michael Douglas Stokes were listed in the booklet accompanying the services as follows:

To be spiritually uplifted by the radiance of the new stained glass windows when entering the nave of the church. The windows collectively convey the humanity characterized by three generations of the Stretton surgeons in the town and the windows communicate a sense of the belief, commitment and devotion they gave to the sick and the poor. These high, south-facing windows are best suited to bold, modern, abstract design. They include direct Christian symbolism, strong colours, various widths of lead cames (strips of lead), painted decorative detail and readable text. The purification of water is an important factor and recurrent theme in the lives of the three men and flows throughout the three sets of windows. The vertical lead lines employed to achieve this effect also serve to create a visual height increase to the main lights. The impact of these modern abstract windows provide a focused contrast to the Victorian stained glass below. The overriding themes are Faith, Charity and Hope, the symbols of which are displayed in the centre lights of each window accordingly.

Latest news from the charity

Dear Trustees of the John Weston Stretton Charity,

I wish to say a huge "Thank You" for your financial aid over the past two years of my degree. In June, I graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. I am now working in the Royal United Hospitals Trust in Bath as a foundation doctor. Your aid over the past two years was a great help to me during my studies and I really appreciate your generosity.

Read more: Testimonials

Registered Address

Strettons of Kidderminster Ltd
Registered address: Tythe House, 20-21 The Tything