Rev’d Canon John Malbon and his wife Janet Malbon at the new doors (1)

Two large, hinged glass doors at the west entrance to St Mary’s Church in Acton were officially opened and blessed by Rev’d Canon John Malbon, writes Jonathan White.

In his speech, prior to cutting a ribbon to officially open the new doors, Rev’d Canon John Malbon said that solid doors present a physical barrier to communication, they say ‘Keep out’.

However, glass doors let light in and reveal activities, he added.

The Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt painted a picture – ‘The Light of the World’ – of a figure standing at a closed door and knocking, illustrating Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

“If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”

The addition of the transparent doors will let daylight flood into the church.

They will also generate a light and airy feel and provide an inviting welcome to visitors at the weekly ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café, which takes place under the church tower every Sunday afternoons.

Rev’d Canon John Malbon gives a speech prior to cutting the ribbon (1)

Rev’d Canon John Malbon gives a speech prior to cutting the ribbon

The doors will also allow visitors to view into the church, even when it is closed.

The doors have been added thanks to a donation by the late John Milner, whose legacy in his will made the doors possible.

John taught history at Nantwich and Acton Grammar School from 1972-11979 and was Head of Sixth Form from 1976.

He was also a reader at St Mary’s Church, Acton.

Rev’d Canon Malbon is now retired but often leads services when vicar Rev Anne Lawson is otherwise engaged.

This year, John celebrates 55 years since he was ordained in Litchfield.

A representative from St Mary’s Church, Acton said: “The effect these doors have upon the church is transformational – we very much like the conservatory feel; many thanks to Mike Houlston who orchestrated the project.”

The glass doors viewed inside the church (1)

The glass doors viewed inside the church

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