In 1997, a generous benefactor, a Miss Cruickshank, left the Diocese of Oxford a significant bequest to install a new stained glass window depicting the solar system. She wanted a window to inspire us to wonder, with the psalmist, "when I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in their courses, what are mortals that you should be mindful of them?" (Ps 8). Parishes were invited to bid, and on the strength of the connection with the astronomer William Herschel, who in 1781 discovered the planet Uranus, St Laurence's Parish was awarded the bequest.
In 1786, Herschel moved into Observatory House in
The Dedication of the new window was attended by the astronomer and TV presenter, Dr Heather Couper, who gave an illustrated talk about the significance of HerschelÆs amazing discoveries. Among those also present on the occasion were descendant members of the Herschel family and a member of Miss CruickshankÆs family.
Herschel was also a gifted composer and organist (it is said he helped inspire HaydnÆs Creation). In recognition of this, the church organist, Mr Keith Bosley, performed, some of HerschelÆs little-known but very enjoyable music for organ, at the Dedication
By David Meill, Vicar at St LaurenceÆs