There was a Catholic chapel on the RAF base at Lyneham from at least 1964. By 1968 the brick built church of Saint Joseph had been constructed in Preston Lane, Lyneham.
In 1968 the stained glass artist Geoffrey A. K. Robinson, a Fellow of The British Society of Master Glass Painters, was commissioned to design and produce stained glass panels to be incorporated into Saint Joseph’s Church.
Geoffrey A. K. Robinson was the son of the renowned stained glass artist Arnold Wathen Robinson and was a director and owner of the stained glass window production company Joseph Bell and Sons of Bristol.
Geoffrey A. K. Robinson had already designed stained glass windows for numerous churches in the West Country and South Wales.
In Volume XIV of ‘The Journal of Stained Glass’, Geoffrey A. K. Robinson wrote of these windows as follows:
“I was successful in a limited tender to design windows for a new Roman Catholic Church at RAF Station, Lyneham, Wiltshire. There are eight single-light Nave windows in cast glass and epoxy resin, six of which incorporate leaded antique glass panels. There is a colour progression as one goes from West to East, from whites through greens to blues and purples, finally culminating in two East windows of extreme richness of rubies and purples, tempered however with neutrals and olive greens. Also for this church a sanctuary window incorporating the Tabernacle in white, yellow and orange cast glass and resin and a leaded glass Christus Rex suspended above the altar.”
Following the last regular celebration of Sunday Mass at Saint Joseph’s on 25th May 2008, the decommissioning of Saint Joseph’s Church took place in 2009. The stained glass was removed at the time of the building’s demolition in 2011 and acquired by Saint Edmund’s Parish in March 2011.
The antique leaded panels and the leaded Christus Rex panel were reworked by the local stained glass artist Andrew Taylor, Fellow of The British Society of Master Glass Painters, and installed above new oak entrance doors at Saint Edmund’s Church on 3rd March 2012. This stained glass panel and new entrance doors were blessed by Monsignor Canon Richard Twomey on 11th March 2012, the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the laying of the church’s Foundation Stone. The photograph below shows Andrew Taylor working on the Christus Rex panel.
After consultation with parishioners of Saint Edmund’s in 2012, the cast glass and resin panels were installed in the sanctuary in September 2012. The oak frames for the stained glass windows were constructed by Dokic Joinery of Calne and the associated construction works undertaken by Wilkins Builders. These windows were blessed on the Feast of Saint Edmund, Sunday 16th November 2014. Further details are on the page ‘Blessing of the Stained Glass Windows’ here.
The installation works were overseen by members of the Finance Committee of Saint Edmund’s Parish and financed from parish funds and the generous donations of many individual benefactors.
The photograph below shows Saint Joseph’s Church, Lyneham prior to demolition.