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Hornchurch’s Holy Cross Church marks centenary of wartime painter’s death

PUBLISHED: 14:17 20 June 2017

David Pearson, ( P-I-C Holy Cross Hornchurch,) MP Andrew Rosindell, author Steven Harris, Roy Masyni, and Nathan Street.

David Pearson, ( P-I-C Holy Cross Hornchurch,) MP Andrew Rosindell, author Steven Harris, Roy Masyni, and Nathan Street.

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Holy Cross Church held a launch event on Sunday, June 18, to celebrate an upcoming exhibition about a popular artist who was killed in the First World War.

Holy Cross Church in Hornchurch, is holding an exhibition about Ernest Stafford Carlos whose painting 'The Pathfinder' is depicted in a stain glass window.

The Pathfinder  stain glass window. Holy Cross Church in Hornchurch, is holding an exhibition about Ernest Stafford Carlos whose painting 'The Pathfinder' is depicted in a stain glass window. The Pathfinder stain glass window.

Ernest Stafford Carlos was renowned for his paintings depicting the early scouts movement in the late Victorian era and his piece The Pathfinder is portrayed in a stained glass window at the church, in Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch.

The Scouting for Carlos exhibition has been made possible thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund but won’t be open to the public until November in the build-up to Remembrance Sunday.

However, the launch event was held to coincide with the centenary of his death during the Battle of Missines and Romford MP Andrew Rosindell was in attendance alongside special guests.

The church’s vicar, the Rev David Pearson, hopes the exhibition will raise awareness of the painter and his connection to the church and revealed that The Pathfinder was lost for years until being rediscovered following a break-in.

“His brother was the first vicar, which is why we got the window – his family bought it for the church in 1933,” said David.

“Because we live with the window it’s a part of our lives but years ago the window was lost and it was understood to be in St Andrew’s Church in Birmingham and people went there and couldn’t find it.

“We then had a break-in where people came into the church through the bottom part of the window and when it went in for repairs they said we’ve found the lost window!”

Contributions for the finished exhibition will feature creations by local scouts and guide groups and students at the City and Guild Art School - where Ernest once studied.

David hopes the exhibition will make people more interested in their local history.

“I think it’s a pity that people don’t know of him because at the moment our church is closed until Sundays - we plan to have it open more permanently so people can enjoy it,” said David.

“We are trying to encourage people to take pride in what their relatives have achieved.”

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