The windows at St. James Anglican Church tell the story of Christ’s life from the Annunciation to the Ascension.  The man responsible for their existence is Rev. Canon George W. Findlay, rector of the parish from 1927 to 1951. It all started with the East Window …

By the 1940s, mortgages had been paid off and the parishioners decided to turn their attention to beautifying the ‘new’ church.  Rev. Findlay suggested that stained glass be installed in the East Window, to honour “the men and women who served, suffered, and died in the service of God, King, and Country.” Rev. Findlay had been impressed with windows he had seen in Toronto and invited their creator, Meikle Studios, to submit a design. When he visited the church, the studio representative suggested that stained glass be installed in the 14 aisle windows as well. Conceptual designs were drawn up for them, with the upper and lower panel designs being formalized, and the center panel left for a Biblical scene that would be designed when the window was commissioned.

Fundraising for the East Window began in September of 1944, and the window was unveiled on November 11, 1945; a fitting gift from the congregation. The cost was $1,460.17

Canon Findlay drew up a list of 14 pivotal events in Christ’s life to suggest to parishioners who wanted to donate a window and stipulated that they had to be installed in the correct order in the story sequence. The first aisle windows to be donated were the pair illustrating ‘The Women Come to the Tomb” and ‘The Emmaus Road’. They were dedicated to the memory of Cecil H. Johnson who had died at Hong Kong in December 1941 and were donated by his widow.

This was the beginning; interest and excitement increased as the remaining windows were installed over the next decades. After Canon Findlay’s death in 1952, his family donated ‘The Birth of Christ’ and ‘The Presentation at the Temple’ in his memory.

Most windows were created by Meikle Studios (of Toronto), but it no longer exists. Westmacott Art Glass Studio of Winnipeg created two of the aisle windows as well as the large West Window in the gallery (balcony).

Behind the Baptismal Font, at the nave entrance, is a double panelled Baptistery Window designed and created by Winnipeg’s Leo Mol, the world-renowned artist and sculptor. These are not part of the story sequence but are important representations of periods in Christ’s life. The left panel shows John the Baptist baptizing Christ with water from a scallop shell (the symbol for St. James); the right shows Jesus welcoming three children to Him.

The most recent windows to be added are two small panels beside the Baptistery Windows (Abbey Art Glass). As all of the story windows are complete, these illustrate concepts in Christianity:

        •    The chalice symbolizes faith, sacrifice, redemption, the Eucharist, the cup of salvation 

        •    The dove expresses innocence and purity and signifies the Holy Spirit and presence of God; rays of light of divine power indicate the Holy Spirit, and also declare the innocence of the departed.



Adapted from Through a Glass Brightly —

The Heritage Windows of St. James Anglican Church

by the late Reverend Canon John D. Caird


The Stained Glass Windows

* Click on a thumbnail image to see an enlarged view of the windows

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Father Murray has created a Meditation Liturgy based on these windows.

Download the pdf file

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