The Roundel Competition

The Roundel Competition, launched in 2017, marks the Reflections of The Lord Mayor with a unique gift for our guest of honour and Reflections speaker. It also celebrates the time-honoured craftsmanship involved in the creation of stained and painted glass.


A roundel is a small piece of stained glass, usually circular, that is meant to be seen close up. It can be made up either of a flat circular piece of clear glass or of a number of different coloured pieces of glass joined together by thin lines of lead (known as leadlines) to make up the circle. Designs are added with paints, stains and enamels baked on to the glass to make the picture.

Lord Mountevans

Talking as a recipient of the roundels in 2018 and his encouragement for others to take part.

The roundel competition is an annual event with competitions for both emerging glass and student artists. Since every roundel is unique, it becomes a permanent memento of each Reflections event – celebrating not only the life of the City of London, but also the achievements and character of our distinguished Lord Mayor speakers.

Launched with the support of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass and the Glaziers’ Foundation, the first competition was open to professional stained glass artists from across the UK. The competition brief was to create an original design symbolising both the role of the Lord Mayor of London and the interests and achievements of that year’s speaker. We presented the first winning roundel, created by Manchester-based artist Jayne Ford, to former Lord Mayor of London Sir Roger Gifford at the Reflections event in May 2017.

For the 2018 Reflections, the competition was expanded in order to inspire and engage with young people. We opened a schools competition to young people up to the age of 11, with a separate competition open to Junior Sea Cadets in the London area. We invited entrants to create an original design on paper. Barley Studio’s Creative Director Helen Whittaker, one of the UK’s leading stained-glass artists and our 2018 judging panel Chair, transformed the two winning designs into stained glass roundels. Lord Mountevans attended the prize-giving presentation ceremonies at the winning students’ respective school and Sea Cadets unit.

For 2019, the young people’s competitions have been expanded to encompass the Sea Cadets, the Army Cadet Force and Air Cadets – collectively known as the Community Cadet Forces – across the London Region. Winning designs from Cadets and our Schools competitions will be transformed into two unique roundels by Helen Whittaker and her colleagues at Barley Studio in York (Helen and Barley Studio were the people who created The Queen’s Window designed by David Hockney in Westminster Abbey).  Helen continues as Chair of the Judging panel of the Roundel Competition.