Our Stained Glass Windows
Use your imagination to discover shapes and symbols in the windows. Depending on where you stand or sit, and the light of the day, different shapes, colours, and textures emerge. Allow yourself to dream and be moved...
It was an exciting innovative step by our church that began in 1977 when Helene Hall approached Rev Bob Watt about donating a stained glass window in memory of her husband Wallace. One year later, the Official Board approved the recommendation by George Turnbull and Lee Kemp to install nine stained glass windows and an illuminated chancel screen to adorn the church sanctuary.
The Artist and Designer: Eric Wesselow (1911-1988) was an internationally known artist and an innovator in stained glass and plastics. Of Russian/Polish heritage, he studied in Germany and Italy and was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome.
Wesselow painted many famous people: Albert Schweitezer, Pope Pius Xll, Paderweski, K. Thomas Mann, Marshall McLuhan and Maureen Forrester. His stained glass work can be seen in Christ Church Cathedral, Temple Beth Shalom and Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in Montreal.
The Vision: Eric Wesselow said, "To begin the task...I spent many hours in the church studying the architectural setting, particularly the position of the windows in relation to the cyclical nature of light. I also absorbed the spiritual sense of the congregation emanating from the prayers, sermons, music and silences...I felt that a stained glass window might be an opening in the wall through which to experience new dimensions."
Most of the glass used in the windows is antique glass whose colours, derived from metallic oxides, were added very early in the process of mixing the elements to make the glass. The craftsmen used a blowpipe (believed to have been invented by the Egyptians in about 300 B.C.).
Assembly involved a lamination process: The stained glass was laid out on a 5-millimeter thick sheet of plate glass and glued on with epoxy. The entire process requires a clear vision at every stage of the project; the glorious synthesis of the design depends on the totality of its parts.
The Chancel Screen: This screen is the focal point of our sanctuary and the culmination of "the windows project." It depicts a glorious sunburst illuminating the Resurrection, the Transfiguration, and the Triumphant Cross. There are 38 panes of glass, weighing 1 1/2 tons and it is backlit by a series of fluorescent tubes. The screen was financed by a Congregational Chancel Screen Memorial Fund to which all could make donations. Dedication took place on Sunday, Sept. 11, 1983.
The average cost per window was $8,200 and the Chancel Screen cost $76,000. The entire project cost $150,000 and was fully paid at completion. We are grateful to all who supported this project and gave so generously to bring this beautiful art into our church. Thank you for leaving us this beautiful legacy!
Watch the video A Glance into the Heavens presented by Deborah Turnbull for further information about our windows.