OBITUARY : The Rev Eric Heaton

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The Independent Online
The Rev Eric Heaton was the agent of the completion of all the windows left unglazed with decorative glass in the great hall of Christ Church, writes Patrick Reyntiens [further to the obituary by Hugh Rice, 29 August]. What had begun to be glazed by Bodley was left unfinished at the beginning of the 1914 war, and by the end of the Second World War it was half-bombed and patched up to an embarrassing extent.

Heaton decided to rectify the situation, but it was not easy either to determine what to do or to get the college and its students to support any scheme with unanimity. Heaton's tact and sensitivity overcame the problems of style and of managing a corpus of highly individual academic personalities.

Eventually the style adopted was that of 1588, had the breach with Rome never occurred. (I had in mind glass that would have gone with that of Peterhouse, Cambridge, an amalgam of high gothic and baroque.) This was a triumphant success, and was completed in 1984, when a celebratory dinner of gargantuan proportions was held.

From a letter to me I know that Heaton looked on the completion of the great hall glazing as one of the great highlights of his tenure. Certainly the work, of 11 full windows, would have been immeasurably more difficult to do but for the constant mental and spiritual support from Eric Heaton.

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