Symbolism in the Windows

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

  1. Candle (lit): reflects Jesus' words “I am the Light of the World.”

  2. Hand of God: God the Father’s hand raised in blessing. The extended thumb and fingers represent the Holy trinity. This symbol suggests that the hand of god reaches out into our lives, guiding and guarding, blessing, supplying our needs.

  3. 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.

The Shepherds Hear the News

The Annunciation

  1. Fish: secret sign of early believers (‘fishers of men’). The initial letters of the Greek words ‘Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour’ spell ‘fish’ in Greek.

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

  3. Chalice and Paten: symbols of the Eucharist; chalice holds the wine, the paten the bread.

  1. Epiphany Star: the symbol of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany; the Magi were guided by a star to Bethlehem, where Christ was born.

  2. Greek Cross with Words: the words indicate ‘Jesus Christ conquers’

  1. Money Bags: refer to St. Matthew, a tax collector. This is a reminder to be good stewards of God’s money.

  2. Ship with Cross on the Mast: a symbol of the Church, which travels through upheavals and adversity just as a ship travels through stormy waters.  Christ is the captain, the parishioners

  1. Fleur de Lis: symbol of Mary; with 3 petals, it symbolizes the Trinity.

  1. Daisies: portray the  innocence of the Holy Child.

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.