Information adapted from Marilyn Jackson's notes in Through a Glass Brightly —

The Heritage Windows of St. James Anglican Church

by the late Reverend Canon John D. Caird

Symbolism in the Windows

  1. Chalice: faith, sacrifice, redemption, salvation.

  2. Trefoil entwined with a Triangle: both are symbols of the Holy Trinity.

  3. IC: Jesus

  4. Lamp of Knowledge: symbolizes the Word of God or the Bible. As lamps dispel darkness and provide light, it is God who dispels spiritual darkness.

  1. Anchor: hope and stability, steadfastness and faith. As the anchor holds the ship in place, so hope holds the believer to Christ.

  2. XC: Christ

  3. Scourge & Pillar: the scourge is a symbol of Christ's Passion. It is often shown together with a pillar to which He may have been bound.

  1. Open Book: normally seen as the open Bible/Holy Scriptures, indicating that God’s Word is accessible to all.

  2. Pelican-in-her-Piety: atonement: man’s reconciliation with God through the sacrifice of Christ. The mother pelican risks her life in famine by feeding her young with the blood from her breast. This is a comparison with our Saviour who gave His life so sinners could live.

  3. Dove Descending: expresses innocence and purity: signifies the Holy Spirit and the presence of God.

  1. Ladder with Sponge and Spear: while a ladder symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth, and the ascension to heaven, this combination refers to the Crucifixion: a sponge moistened with vinegar was presented to  Christ, and a spear was used to pierce His side.

  2. Crown of Thorns (with 3 nails): refers to humility and suffering: through the crown, thorns, and spear, Christ redeemed us.  The penetrating thorns and nails are symbols of our Lord’s passion (3 nails were used, another connection  to the Trinity).

  3. Crown with Cross: reward in the after life for the faithful believers in the crucified Saviour.

  1. Grapes: stand for wine: through the prayer of consecration, wine is turned into the Blood of Christ.

  1. Wheat:  the bread of Life; sheaves represent the faithful who the Lord has gathered for His harvest. Unification, strength and discipline.

The Garden of Gethsemane

The Way of the Cross

All the aisle windows contain these elements:

‘Cloverleaf’: could be interpreted as a trio of trefoils, the sign of the Holy Trinity

Quatrefoil, Messianic Rose: which betokens the Ascension; the 4 leaves refer to Christ’s command to take the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.