In November 2021, one of the stained glass windows in the Lady Chapel suffered significant damage in a storm. The window, which is located at the furthest east point on the right hand side of the Lady Chapel, features Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection, The Supper at Emmaus and Incredulity of St. Thomas. During the extreme weather, the wind pressure forced the lead to stretch causing small gaps to appear making the window dangerously fragile and in need of repair.

The window as seen from the scaffolding inside the Lady Chapel by Jessica Owen

After further investigations by the Cathedral Architect and Jim Budd of Jim Budd Glazing Ltd, it also transpired that the ferramenta, the bars which support the glass of the window, were in poor condition and needed replacing. To protect the window, it was agreed that it would be removed temporarily and repaired off site at the workshop of Jim Budd. In October 2023, the team from Jim Budd Glazing painstakingly removed the window from its location to transport to Gladestry for works to commence. Members of the Hereford Cathedral team were invited to visit the workshop to better understand the complexity of stain glass restoration and in particular the three panels which make up the Lady Chapel window.

Six months after it was first removed the window, alongside the new shaped bronze ferramenta, was ready to return to the Lady Chapel. Upon the installation of the window the team received a surprise when they discovered a handwritten note which had been neatly tucked away into a pillar top recess of the window. The note was from January 2004, when scaffolding had last been installed in the Lady Chapel, and detailed the works that had been carried out including replastering, painting and stone cleaning!


The note which was tucked away from previous works by Jessica Owen

Alan Cartwright, Head of Estates at Hereford Cathedral, said: "In all repair and restoration works there is the need for diligent investigation and the approval of several permissions giving bodies.  We must thank Hereford Cathedrals Fabric Advisory Committee and the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England whose advice had been instrumental in the ensuring that a sympathetic repair was carried out.  The window is now not only restored but securely installed and will see generations pass before requiring any further work."  

Robert Kilgour, Cathedral Architect, said: “We are fortunate to be able to work with such an experienced glazier in Jim Budd.  Jim continues the tradition of glazing using original materials and methods preserving craft skills for future generations to admire.   The additional ferramenta bars that span across the width of the window were carefully shaped so that they do not interrupt the geometric glazing pattern.  Simple drawings were prepared to show our Fabric Advisor Committee so that they could see the impact the bars would have on the appearance of the window when they were fitted.”

The cost of ongoing maintenance of such a beautiful heritage building is a significant part of our annual outgoings. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen which are beyond our control which mean that additional funds need to be sourced for unexpected repairs. If you would like to find out how to make a donation to support the fabric of Hereford Cathedral please contact Emma Maggs, Head of Development ([email protected]), or visit