The stained glass windows of St. Andrew's Sanctuary span almost a hundred years, from 1894 to 1992. The earliest, on either side of the pulpit, reflect the 1890s taste for naturalistic design based on Renaissance paintings. Windows elsewhere in the church show leanings towards modernism, evident in the simplification and sometimes abstraction of detail, lack of perspective depth, and often a brighter but shallower palette of colours. Much work has gone into documenting the history of these stained glass windows, a booklet is available at the church with more information.
Below is small sample of the stained glass windows found in the Sanctuary, many thanks to Marion Y., Ruth W., David B., Joan M. and Sheila U. for the historic descriptions Photographs by The Rev. Dr. Andrew Johnston, Elizabeth P. and Jamie W.
The St. Andrew Window
The striking colours of this charming lancet window on the north wall beckon the eye of anyone in the Sanctuary.
Andrew and his brother Simon Peter became the first disciples of Jesus Christ. After Christ’s death and resurrection, Andrew is said to have been a missionary in Asia Minor and Greece, where he was crucified at Patras (Patrae) around 69 AD by the Romans. Tradition has it that, feeling unworthy, Andrew asked not to be crucified on the same upright cross as Christ, but rather on an X-shaped cross, which the Romans also used. The diagonal or X-shaped cross came to be known as the Cross of St. Andrew.
The Patron Saint of Scotland, St. Andrew is shown here with the cross behind him: note the ends of the cross above his shoulders and beside his feet. The diagonal cross also appears above in the four-lobed quatrefoil, while a miniature upright Roman cross perches on the middle of the letter W of Andrew.
The window was given by their family in memory of George Scott Murray and his wife, Caro E. Murray, devoted members of this church. Mr. Murray served on the Temporal Committee and as an elder for thirty years, while Mrs. Murray long held office in the Women’s Guild, including several terms as president. In the presence of the family, the window was dedicated to the Glory of God on Sunday, May 11th, 1969.
Composed of imported cathedral glass, the window was designed by Dutch-born Theo Lubbers, and executed under his supervision at his Montréal studios.
Love, Truth and Justice Window
In this beautifully detailed window, a devout man kneels before a richly-carved reading desk bearing an open Bible. It is twilight – the sun sets over distant hills in the background. In the left panel are three heavenly visitors: Love, Truth and Justice, representing three guiding principles for all who follow Jesus. Justice gestures toward heaven, and all three visitors gaze at the kneeling figure. The inscription reads: “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). The quotation from the right panel, shown above, is from Philippians 4:8. In the left panel are the words: “This window dedicated to the Glory of God erected in loving memory of Herbert I. Thomas 1872-1924 by his wife.” A close inspection of the window reveals fine details, such as the Roman cross and rod of Justice, the miniature Ionic column supporting the desk, the delicate foliage, drapery folds and angel wings.
A devoted member of St. Andrew’s, Mr. Thomas served on the Temporal Committee, the War Memorial Window Committee, and with the Men’s Association as a founder, and editor of The Message, the Association’s magazine. Keenly interested in public affairs, he headed the purchasing department of the J. R. Booth Company, Limited. This window, the gift of his wife Ethel W. Thomas, was designed and executed in 1926 by James A. Ballantyne of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Teacher Window
This window, on the east wall of St. Andrew’s Church, commemorates long-serving Sunday School teacher Miss Charlotte Ross. The Latin quotation, Spem successus alit, means ‘The outcome nourishes hope.’ The following appeared in the Order of Service, Sunday, November 2, 1947 – the day the window was dedicated:
MEMORIAL WINDOW TO THE LATE MISS CHARLOTTE ROSS
The main theme of the window is woman’s part in the religious education of children and an appreciation of that important service. “They that be teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3.) The left-hand panel windowhead above shows the lamp symbolizing wisdom, with faith represented by the Bible on the right-hand windowhead. The theme portrayed at the base of the window is a child’s conception of God as given through Nature, or the wonders of God as seen through the eyes of innocence. The left-hand panel depicts the wonders of the night, the moon and the stars, while the wonders of the day are suggested by the right-hand panel.
In the tracery above the window is the Ross Family Coat-of-Arms. The commemorative inscription reads: “To The Glory of God, and in Loving Memory of Charlotte Ross – 1861-1946.” The window is the gift of Mr. George H. Ross, her brother, and the work of Mr. Peter Haworth of Toronto.
The Memorial Window
It was during 1925 that the work of preparation and installation of the war memorial window was completed. The undertaking had been in progress for several years, the cost – approximating $7,000 – having been defrayed by contributions by members of the congregation. The window is regarded as a magnificent example of this form of art and is by James Ballantine, F.S.A. Scot. Edinburgh. It was unveiled on Sunday, December 13, 1925, by His Excellency the Right Honourable Lord Byng of Vimy, then Governor-General of Canada. The Rev. Thomas Eakin, D.D., preached the sermon while The Rev. A.M. Gordon, D.D., delivered the dedicatory address.
The theme of the memorial is:
The Angel of Peace, radiant in light, free and unfettered, bringing the divine message of hope and ultimate triumph to humanity. Dominating all is the Christ in Majesty, and the supreme symbols, Alpha and Omega, in recognition that Emmanuel – “God with us” – is a reality.
The Angel is boldly portrayed as a young man, with arms extended in deliverance, illustrating the words:
“AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH”.
Below this are grouped figures of types representing Adventure, (Explorer); Knowledge, (Scholar); Sacrifice, in pursuit of high and unselfish ends, (Knight) – the keynote of the Memorial; Statesmanship, (King); Industry, (Craftsman); Patience,(Womanhood); Confidence and Courage, (Youth).
At the foot is the following dedicatory inscription:
‘They overcame … and they loved not their lives unto death’.