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Picture of 1963 bus boycott will replace stained glass tribute to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol church


A picture of a 1963 civil rights bus boycott will replace a stained glass tribute to slave trader Edward Colston in a Bristol church. 

St Mary Redcliff Church agreed to remove four stained-glass panels dedicated the Colston two years ago following the toppling of his statue. 

The window was temporarily replaced with plain panels and the church invited the public to submit new designs in a competition.

The old panels made up the bottom section of the North Transept window - known as The Good Samaritan - which illustrated the Christian story where Colston had taken his motto. 

The new panel celebrates the Bristol Bus Boycott, which artist Ealish Swift explains 'paved the way for the Race Relations Act of 1965, with Jesus as a fellow protester and radical.'

The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the Bristol Omnibus Company's refusal to employ back or Asian bus crews in the city.

The campaign was led by youth worker Paul Stephenson and the West Indian Development Council which lasted for four months until the service backed down and overturned the ban. 

The grade I-listed church was built over three decades during the Medieval Age and was described by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574 as 'the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England.'

A spokesperson from the church said they launched the competition as 'part of an ongoing process of reflection and action to ensure that today's church building echoes St Mary Redcliffe's stated values and is welcoming to all.

The entry theme, 'And who is my neighbour?', explored the meaning of what it means to be a good Samaritan. 

Bristol based artist and junior doctor Ealish Swift won the competition but was unable to unveil the design as she was performing surgery.

The winning design is on display in a small temporary exhibition at St Mary Redcliffe until 9th October 2022 and next year will be recreated in stained glass.