1 - Introduction to St. John's Stained Glass Windows Articles in News & Views
2 - Article 1 - Office Windows
3 - Article 2 - Entrance Windows
4 - Article 3 - Windows Depicting Apostles Part 1
12 - List of all 66 Stained Glass Windows.
11 - Text & Photos for each Group of Stained Glass Windows
a - Office Windows
b - Handicapped Entrance Windows By the Elevator
c - Flower Alcove (Bride's Room) Windows
d - Narthex
e - South Apex -Part 1
f - West Transept Apex
g - East Transept Ground Floor
h - East Trancept Apex Windows
i - Chapel
h - Chapel Entrance
1 - Introduction to St. John's Stained Glass Windows Articles in News & Views - Sept. 2010 (p.4)
For the rest of this year and next we are all going on a tour of the stained glass windows at St. John’s. Each month there will be an article about the windows at a particular location in the church so that we can have a greater appreciation of something we see all the time and maybe take for granted. Stained glass windows bring together a venerable art form, religious expression, biblical theology, story telling and the remembrance or tribute to families, friends and devoted servants of our church. We have 66 in all.
The first stained glass windows were dedicated March 30, 1942. They were two St. John windows, John the Beloved and John the Fisherman. They flanked the altar in the sanctuary in the old church, which is now the New to You shop. This began a very fruitful period in the history of St. John’s stained glass. The majority of the windows we have were commissioned and dedicated in the 1940s. I can’t say with absolute certainty why this happened, but my surmise is that during the 30’s the church struggled to keep its head above water and by the early forties, was getting close to paying off the mortgage. As release from the debt became a reality, the parish’s attention turned to completing the interior. In addition, it was a way to pay tribute to or memorialize long standing members of the church. Our first rector, and the one who led the parish in the building of the first church at 11 Mile and Woodward, Rev Blachford passed to his reward in 1941. So the legacy of our beautiful stained glass began in this period in our history.
From an artistic standpoint, the windows can be divided into three types. These are my own invention, but they capture the design features. I call them Classical, Neoclassical and Modern.
Classical Windows - The original windows are all classical in design. Some of the elements are:
- A static representation of a biblical figure set amongst numerous small glass pieces forming a background and border which serves to highlight the figure.
- These windows also employ traditional symbols associated with whoever is portrayed.
- These windows are dense in appearance owing to the use of darker colors with red and blue the predominant colors.
- Close inspection reveals nearly every piece is painted, creating a visually intricate pattern.
- Even though the windows are rectangular, each one has a lancet shape, the pointed top window.
- They also have a separate smaller square window on the top with symbols or scenes related to the main window.
Neo-classical Windows - are from the 1950s and later. They include:
Modern windows - use:
- Much lighter glass, almost pastel, often with clear glass to make the central scene stand out.
- Rather than a single large figure, these windows represent Biblical events.
- They may also include non-Biblical figures and themes.
- Painted glass however is used to create detail, and they often have a traditional style border.
Next month we will begin our tour with the windows on the St. John's Office wall.
- Brighter colors in larger pieces, with unusual shapes and more abstract symbolism and designs.
- Often shape and color are used to create a dynamic scene evoking movement.
- We will start out seeing modern windows, the ones on the outside of the office, and move to the neo-classical to the classic designs.
Richard Leslie, Parish Historian &Dresser of Stained Glass Windows
Note: All the text descriptions and pictures are from Richard Leslie except for the "Notes" like this.