Old boys and girls from the University of Chester are raising funds for a stained glass window to mark the 175th anniversary of the institution.

Members of the Alumni Association felt it appropriate to commemorate the anniversary with a permanent reminder in the form of a window within the chapel on the main Parkgate Road campus.

The chapel has played an integral part in the life of the institution, which was established in 1839. It forms both a focal point for activities which reflect the Church of England foundation of the university and a symbol for the community spirit, which has been such an important feature of Chester for generations of students and staff.

Originally, the first college students attended services at the nearby cathedral, but the Rev Arthur Rigg, principal at the time, believed a dedicated college chapel, based at the college, where all students could assemble, was needed.

The students fundraised, dug the foundations, carved the stonework and chiselled the interior woodwork of the college chapel. The organ case was designed by Vice-Principal Hutchinson, himself the son of an architect, while the students made the seating and installed some of the stained glass, completing this tremendous achievement by 1847.

A spokesman for the Alumni Association said: “As well as being one of the oldest, iconic buildings on campus, the chapel still stands today as a testament to the skill and devotion of former students. It continues to enhance the lives of students and staff at the university, via formal services, daily worship and private prayer.”

Following the example from 1847, current Art and Design students have been invited to create the imagery for the commemorative window using stained glass. And former graduates are asked to make a donation towards the project.