The village of Tudeley in Kent, England, contains a small church that dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries. It’s even believed that parts of the structure may date back to the pre-Norman Conquest of 1066. Once inside, visitors are not greeted by medieval or even Victorian stained glass, but the unmistakable stylings of 20th century master Marc Chagall.
However, the story of how the modern stained glass windows made it into the church begins with a tragedy. In 1963, the daughter of Sir Henry and Lady D’Avigdor-Goldsmid drowned in a sailing accident. After the incident, her parents commissioned a stained glass window in memory of their daughter Sarah.
When Chagall attended the dedication of the window, he was so charmed by the setting that he shouted, “C’est magnifique! Je les ferai tous!” (”It’s magnificent! I will do them all!”). Chagall installed his artwork on all 12 windows of the church. The All Saints’ Church is now the only church in the world to have all of its stained glass windows designed by Chagall. In Britain, West Sussex’s Chichester Cathedral is the only other place to view Chagall stained glass.
In addition to the Chagall artwork and church itself, you can also view the Victorian stained glass windows that were replaced inside the church.
Know Before You Go
While the church is free to visit, it's still a functioning church and may be closed to visitors for weekly services as well as funerals or weddings.