The Binalong community have gathered to mark the return of the historic stained-glass windows at St Patrick's Church.
Vicar General Father Tony Percy and Deacon Patrick Whale held a mass on February 28 to celebrate the return of the red, blue and purple filtered glow of the stain glass window behind the marble alter.
The congregation included parish priest Father Jiss, Father Allen Crowe (retired), Father Dom Carrigan (rector of St Clements, Galong), Helen Delahunty (Archdiocesan financial administrator, Michelle Murdock (manager catholic development fund) and president of Boorowa parish finance committee Paul Reardon.
Historically, the Binalong Catholic precinct included the church, convent, school and presbytery. The century-old church is the sole remaining building in community hands.
Unfortunately, Binalong's clay soils move erratically. Over the years that created havoc in church's bluestone walls, leaving the stained-glass windows balanced precariously in cracked and crumbling niches. A tiny faith community faced a massive task to stabilise the walls and restore the windows.
Ms Robyn Sykes thanked the religious leaders who supported the community in its project, with special mention to Father Tony Percy, Father James, Father Jiss and Deacon Patrick Whale.
"Thank you to those who contributed expertise: Jeff Hamilton and his team of stained-glass artists restored the windows; Alan Reid and his team stabilised the structure; Helen Delahunty and Michele Murdock facilitated finance and approvals," she said.
"Yass Valley Council provided a Heritage Grant; Angela Regan helped greatly with the heritage application; volunteers Peter Muscat and Kevin Pollard plastered and painted the walls; Peter Minson and Lindsay MacDonald introduced Jeff Hamilton to the committee.
"Thank you to local dynamo Jackie Groom, without whose vision and energy the beautiful windows would have fallen and shattered. Instead, they stand in colourful splendour, a symbol of hope for the next generation."