A historic stained glass panel destined for a skip has avoided going under the auctioneer’s hammer and has been donated to an Angus church.
The missing panel from the former St Luke’s and St John’s Church in Montrose was donated to the Lowson Memorial Church in Forfar, uniting it with the artist’s other stunning creations.
Fears were raised the small window, designed by Douglas Strachan in 1912, would leave Angus after being sold at auction.
After learning of its local importance Forfar businessman Donald Stewart withdrew the item at the eleventh hour.
The panel comprises the upper right section of a large two-light window removed from the Montrose church when it was decommissioned.
It completes the set at the Lowson Memorial, gifted eight of the 10 original sections, with the panel donated by Mr Stewart being the final piece of the ‘jigsaw’.
They were removed from the Montrose church when it was converted into offices and donated to the Lowson in 2003 by owners, Scottish Radio Holdings.
At that time the final piece of the window was due to be exhibited as part of a multi-media touring exhibition in Los Angeles.
In later years it was stored in the offices of a local newspaper before going on display at The Royal Hotel in Forfar.
Mr Stewart said: “I was contacted by Ron Leslie of the Lowson who gave me all the background information and an illustration showing two complete glass panel windows.
“The panel I have is the uppermost section of the one on the right. Given this information I had no hesitation in contacting Taylor’s auction rooms and withdrawing the panel.
“I acquired the panel from staff who were clearing out the newspaper offices in Castle Street.
“The panel, along with numerous old local newspapers, were to be disposed of in a skip and dumped.
“Given the importance of this panel and the fact it has been described as priceless, I will take the panel to the Lowson Memorial church where it will be displayed and reunited with the other panels.
“I am delighted to have been able to play a part in saving a piece of our local heritage and look forward to seeing the complete windows on display in the church’s proposed extension.”
Strachan was considered the most significant Scottish designer of stained glass windows of the 20th Century.
He is best known for his windows at the Peace Palace in The Hague, at Edinburgh’s Scottish National War Memorial, and in cathedrals and churches throughout the UK, including the Lowson Memorial.
The Reverend Dr Karen Fenwick of the Lowson Memorial said: “We are delighted this panel will create a lasting feature in our new hub, which we are currently fundraising for.”