BBC News

Durham Cathedral window commemorates student

image copyrightMOrgan Lee
image captionThe window is set in the north wall, close to St Cuthbert's tomb

Durham Cathedral's newest feature, a stained glass window commemorating a Durham University student, has been formally dedicated.

Sara Pilkington died suddenly from a cardiac-related condition in 2012 during her final year of an art degree.

Her parents, Jonathan and Jools Pilkington from Cheshire, funded the Illumination Window as a "fitting memorial to their daughter".

It has been placed on the north wall, which overlooks the university.

image copyrightPilkington family
image captionSara Pilkington died in 2012

Its designer, Chichester-based glass artist Mel Howse, said: "The window is about a young vibrant person who was here one day and not here the next, and that is a very strong story which remained at the forefront of my mind as I worked on the piece.

"Given its poignancy, the story runs like a thread through my design."

Sara's parents, Jonathan and Jools Pilkington, said: "Illumination means to bring in light and our beautiful daughter, Sara, brought so much love and light into our lives.

"Her smile lit up the world of those around her... the window is a fitting memorial to her."

image copyrightDurham Cathedral
image captionGlass artist Mel Howse said the window reflected "a vibrant young person"

The cathedral's canon chancellor, Charlie Allen, described it as an "astonishing piece of art", which "illuminates the medieval fabric of the church".

She said: "It reminds us of the commitment to academic learning which is deeply entrenched in our Christian heritage, but most of all, the work reminds us of Sara, one of God's children, whose beauty and youth is now forever encapsulated in permanent form within the cathedral."

Related Topics

  • University of Durham
  • Durham
  • Chichester

More on this story

  • Secrets and stories of Durham Cathedral