Richard Henry Denne (1811-1881)

The windows dedicated to Richard Henry Denne (1811-1881) have an interesting use of opaque, turquoise, drapery glass which was very modern for its day.

The windows dedicated to Richard Henry Denne (1811-1881) have an interesting use of opaque, turquoise, drapery glass which was very modern for its day.

St Andrew's Church in Walcha is the oldest building standing in the town and the oldest church in the Armidale Anglican Diocese, and it is in desperate need of salvation.

The building is in a state of disrepair and has not been used since the 1990s; however, a group of residents want to change this and bring the building back to life.

They have begun to raise $50,000 to put towards work to save the building and its historic stained glass windows.

Each week I tell the story behind a window.

Richard Henry Denne was born in Chislet, Kent on November 7, 1811 and baptised at St Mary the Virgin Church, Chislet on 27th February 1812.

Like his brother William (for whom the eastern windows are dedicated) he came to Australia and was from April 1844 appointed Superintendent of Goonoo Goonoo Station, Peel River for the A A Company. At the age of forty he married Catherine Stubbs, daughter of Richard and Ann Stubbs, at Christ Church, Sydney on August 5, 1842. She was twenty years his junior.

The family moved to Tia River Station where two sons and five daughters were born. On October 28, 1873 the family moved to Sydney and Richard died at "The Terraces", Paddington on May 4, 1881 aged 70. He is buried in a vault a Waverley Cemetery along with other members of the family.

Each window is constructed as a single light.

The connection with Tia did not end there. His elder son, David Richard Denne married Frances Leonora Hooke at Walcha in 1901. She was the daughter of Augustus Hooke and her brother, also known as Augustus bought Tia Station in 1882.Her brother owned "Blue Spec" which won the 1905 Melbourne Cup.

These windows on the northern side were installed at Walcha not long after. There was obviously some misunderstanding of the measurement because the dedication panel is partly obscured by the lower edge of the timber frame.

Each window is constructed as a single light. The theme is Christ the Shepherd and an Angel holding a palm frond, which is a symbol of Christ's triumph over death. The three wooded posts behind the Angel refer to the Holy Trinity. The lower panel of each window has Coat of Arms and Crest which have references to the Denne family.

This pair of windows may also have been made by Lyon & Cottier of Sydney.