Tale of two farewells at St Mary's, Embsay with Eastby

Farewells of two kinds have taken place at St Mary’s Embsay and Eastby, with the departure of its vicar Louise Taylor-Kenyon and its precious Caprionnier stained glass window.

Louise, who has served as priest and then vicar for nearly nine years, has left to take up a new role in Northumberland where three parishes will be under her care and will also take on the role of area dean.

St Mary’s church warden Peter Edwards said:

“Louise has been a dynamic influence in these villages and she will be hugely missed by the church community and many others.

“As well as leading worship she has been a sensitive friend to a large number of people of all ages. “Alongside her village role she has been involved in the Fairtrade movement, Street Angels, Skipton Churches Together and Cornerstones.

“She was also one of the founders of the Embsay with Eastby Good Neighbours scheme, which has gone from strength to strength over the past two and a half years.

“She did this and more in the half of her week when she was not involved in her other job as a clergy trainer for the Diocese of Leeds.”

At a farewell party in the village hall, Louise was presented with gifts from the church and community, including a full set of Bach Cantatas and promises of a rowan tree and preaching scarf and her last service was filled with parishioners and friends from the area.


Meantime, Jonathan Cooke of Cooke Stained Glass, Ilkley, has removed the precious Capronnier window from St Mary’s church and taken it away for restoration.

This first stage of a £47,000 project which should be completed in time for the window to be back in place at the beginning of Easter Week.

Restoration of the other windows will continue throughout the summer.

While the window space is boarded up and masked in scaffolding on the inside, three beautiful “stained-glass” panels now look down the church.

These are painted on silk, each nearly 2.5 metres high, and have been designed and painted by the children of Embsay Primary School under the guidance of Ruth Pettit and Nicky Osborn. There will eventually be seven panels, one from each class and every child in the school has been involved.

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