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. Menorah: a symbol of Old Testament worship. The 7 flames are considered symbols of the 7 gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord and delight in the Lord. The 7 gifts given to the Lamb are power/strength), wealth, wisdom/knowledge, might, glory and blessing (grace and prayer). Gifts are bestowed at Confirmation with the laying on of hands.

  2. Tablets: two tablets represent the Ten Commandments, depicting stability, reliability, immortality, and strength. May also symbolize destiny: recording of past deeds and foretelling of the future.

  3. Star of David: two interwoven equilateral triangles. The 6 points represent the 6 days of Creation, and this star is on the coat of arms/flag of Israel.

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

  2. Font: represents baptism, cleansing of sins.

  3. Cross and Shell: in baptism, this represents that you assume Christ’s cross and are baptized into Christ.

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

  2. Scale of Justice: represents balance, harmony, equality, and law, order and truth. The emblem of the Archangel St. Michael, who is supposed to weigh the souls of men at the last day.

  1. Trefflee upon Nimbus (halo): this type of cross has trefoils (the Trinity) on the ends of its arms. A diamond-shaped nimbus denotes God the Father.

  2. Serpent and Tau Cross: Tau cross (the Greek letter tau) represents the Tree of Life, stands for regeneration, hidden wisdom, divine power and rule. Serpent entwined around the tree of Life represents Christ as wisdom. Also seen as the bronze snake that Moses raised in the desert.

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

  1. Chi Rho:  the first 2 letters of the Greek word for Christ.

Jesus talks with the Elders at the Temple

John the Baptist

  1. IHS: the first 3 letters of the Greek spelling of Jesus (‘iota, eta, sigma’); another interpretation is ‘Iesu Hominium Salvator’: Jesus, Saviour of Men (Latin).

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.