When your community has a brand new inter-faith church, ultra modern yet deeply spiritual in design, which lacks a stained glass window, what do you do ? If you’re the Rotary club of Apeldoorn-Zuid (south), the Netherlands, the answer is simple.

This is just this small (39 members) club did, and the result, shown here, is so impressive the club’s community service project received publicity throughout the nation, including a cover of the regional magazine Rotary Nederland.

To construct this large (nearly three by four meters) impressive window required some time, lots of willing effort, surpassingly little money, and the talents of one very special Apeldoorn-Zuid Rotarian

Harry meek’s artistic skills are evident in churches, schools and community centers throughout Holland. Though he specializes in decorative carved wood fronts for massive pipe organs, he also adept at sculpture, bas relief, mosaic, and stained glass construction, as the window he designed for “The Three Branches” church shows.

Once Rotarian Meek has completed his design, his fellow members of the Apeldoorn-Zuid club went to work.

Mostly white-collar workers, they put on their oldest clothes, rolled up their sleeves, and nailed together wooden molds for the concrete frame, twisted iron bars to reinforce it, mixed and poured the concrete, and finally removed the mold.

Next came the only part of the whole job to be assigned to paid craftsmen: 5,500 kilogram ferrocement frame into position and bricking it in.

Then the Rotarians completed the window by cutting hundreds of bits of colored glass, gluing them to plates of clear glass, and fitting the plates of clear glass, and fitting the plates onto the frame.

The completed work symbolizes the “three virtues” listed in the Christian Bible: faith (symbolized by a cross), hope (an anchor), and charity ( a heart). On the inside of the building, these symbols were painted appropriate colors: the cross violet, for suffering; the anchor green, for rebirth; and the heart red , for love. The glass design itself represents the universe, filled with the starts and a great eternal Light.

Had this window been constructed commercially, it would have cost many thousands of dollars. As it was, the Rotary fellowship that went along with work made it inexpensive fun, and today Apeldoorn-Zuid Rotarians can view the inspiring evidence of a job well done.

The Rotarian / April 1980
International magazine from America