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Vandals Smash Iconic Glass Pane on Door of Guildford Cathedral

Published on: 12 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 16 Jan, 2024

Vandals have smashed one of the iconic panes of glass on the west front door of Guildford Cathedral – part of a set of sentinel angels engraved by renowned glass artist John Hutton.

The panes of glass are an acclaimed piece of 20th-century art.

The west door at Guildford Cathedral showing the part that was smashed by vandals.

The cathedral reports that police officers were called to the cathedral in the early hours of Friday morning (January 12) to assess the damage and an investigation is under way.

If anyone has information about this incident they can report it to Surrey Police The reference number is 45240004154.

You can phone on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The cathedral’s chief operating officer, Matt O’Grady, said: “Everyone at the cathedral is devastated by this senseless act of vandalism at a holy place. The smashed window is irreplaceable.

“We hope that the whole community will come together to recognise that acts such as this serve no purpose and that places such as our cathedral need to be preserved as shrines of peace, tranquillity, and spirituality in a troubled world.”

Pieces of the smashed pane of glass at Guildford Cathedral.

Artist John Hutton (1906-1978) was born in New Zealand but spent most of his career in the UK. 

He worked until he died in 1978. His ashes were buried beneath a stone at the foot of the acclaimed West Screen he created at Coventry Cathedral, part of which was also destroyed by vandalism in 2020.

The pieces of glass seen here in a cardboard box.

Hutton’s glass panels on the doors at Guildford’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit are from 1961. Earlier internal doors on the cathedral’s south transept are one of Hutton’s early glass engravings, completed in 1955. 

Hutton felt strongly that his work must be more than purely decorative: that it must be part of the spiritual surge of the architecture.

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Responses to Vandals Smash Iconic Glass Pane on Door of Guildford Cathedral

  1. Lesley Pyke Reply

    January 13, 2024 at 9:37 am

    I read this with shock and horror! There are no words! And smashed to smithereens too. What a depraved soul who did this?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    January 13, 2024 at 9:38 am

    I do hope this is a local vandal. The implications, if it is religious vandalism as occurring across Europe and Canada, are not good for our community

    We all need to look to Community cohesiveness, and stand back when we hear diversity and division being promoted by the misguided and say “not in our community!”

    We want to live in peace.

  3. David Roberts Reply

    January 17, 2024 at 9:40 pm

    I agree this is deplorable. But these buildings and their associated artworks are white elephants. As a child, I watched Coventry Cathedral being built. It was an anachronism then; how much more so now. Guildford Cathedral is an ugly, useless lump of a building that should be torn down.

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