Bringing the Past into our Future – how a piece of artwork depicts the origins of Fair Havens

A piece of artwork designed especially for the new hospice in Southend has been unveiled as the charity vows to honour its heritage.

Fair Havens Hospice in Prittlewell was opened to patients on 9th March. The £17.2 million project, led by Barnes Construction, took 65 weeks to build and can now care for twice as many patients as the previous hospice thanks to its additional bedrooms, expanded wellbeing services and therapies.

One of the standout features is the stained glass window within the Sanctuary, a place for thought, reflection or prayer. It was designed and created by artist Sarah Galloway as an acknowledgement to two of the founders of this new building. Vera and Ivan Heath, who lived in Southend, donated more than £4 million to start the project. Sadly, they have both since died but their legacy lives on within this piece of artwork as stained glass was a passion of theirs.

The charity was founded by a group of Christians who felt that people dying in Southend deserved better care at the end of their lives. The lighthouse symbols comes from a Bible passage, “Coasting along it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens.” (Acts 27:8)

Sarah says, “Using the original lighthouse logo from when the charity was created in 1983, I developed the theme looking at light rays cast out by a lighthouse, in an abstract way. I also looked at the mood boards created by Loop Interiors – which provided support with the interior design of Fair Havens – to establish a colour palette.

“The starting point of the design process was created using black and white prints. These were then scanned and manipulated using Photoshop and Illustrator. Once the design was approved by Havens Hospices, a small glass sample was produced to be signed off for manufacture.”

The four-colour glass was silkscreen printed as it is designed to be viewed from the outside as well as inside. Once dried, the glass was tempered to ensure it’s strong enough to withstand the elements. The sharp white lines were sandblasted through the colour and the soft shapes on the front surface were lightly sandblasted to give an etched effect when viewed up close.

Sarah says, “It was a great honour to be asked to produce this for Fair Havens. It was a big responsibility because we had to acknowledge the charity’s history, but also interpret this to create a contemporary design. It is a shame that Ivan and Vera didn’t get to see this, but their kindness and generosity hopefully lives on through this art.”

The charity is proud of its history, and although cares for people of all faiths or those with no particular faith or religion, its Spiritual Care Team ensures that patients and families are supported and works with local faith leaders and groups to ensure this happens.

Spiritual Care Lead Martin Hill says, “I was fascinated to read the inspiration and the process and I know visitors to our Sanctuary will be too.”

Fair Havens provides palliative and supportive care to adults in Southend, Castle Point and Rochford diagnosed with a complex or incurable condition. The charity also offers invaluable support to the patient’s family. All of this care is completely free of charge and can only continue thanks to the generosity of kind donations.

To find out more about the care Fair Havens can offer click here or call 01702 220 350.

For more information on Sarah’s work, visit click here.

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Stain glass window in the sanctuary at Fair Havens