In 1874, the widow of Laurence St. George Carey, a tea planter on Le Vallon Estate, Pupuressa, gifted, in memory of her husband, a magnificent stained glass window, depicting the Crucifixion, the Ascension, the Angel in the Tomb and the Nativity and was erected above the High Alter. This added so much more to the beauty of the church, with coloured beams of sunlight filtering through the stained glass. This priceless and beautiful piece of workmanship, despite being shattered by a bomb blast, still adorns its place above the High Alter, almost in its original pristine glory.
Stained glass windows are made by fitting together, within the window frame, with grooved strips of lead, hundreds of pieces of translucent glass which are stained in rich colours, ruby reds, cobalt blues, buttercup yellows, etc. and so arranged to depict the artist’s intention.
Click on picture to view a bigger picture
The Bomb Blast - On 25th January, 1998, “St. Paul’s Day”, at 6.15 a.m., a blast from a bomb at the adjacent Temple of the Tooth, caused extensive damage to the church. Thankfully there was no one injured, but all the roofing tiles came down and the timber ceiling badly damaged.
All doors and windows were broken, including the main, precious stained glass window, which broke into tiny fragments. These pieces were faithfully collected by Professor Nimal de Silva, a Buddhist, serving at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Moratuwa, whose staff laboured hard to restore this beautiful, priceless stained glass window.
They put together all these pieces and had it re-installed, almost in its pristine glory.