Stained Glass Windows
Stained Glass Booklet
History of Empress United Stained-Glass Windows
Three windows came from Empress United Church:
THE GOOD SHEPHERD (1937) on the left side of the chapel and CHRIST KNOCKING (1937) on the right side of the chapel were originally installed as one window that also included the STAINED-GLASS PANEL that is suspended over the entrance door of the Colborne Street laneway.
When rededicated to Colborne Street United in 2011, Sunrise Glass separated them into 3 windows.
Roger at Sunrise Stained Glass who is the historian on the windows said the closest he could come to the artist of those windows would be to say “an artist at Hobbs Glass” as there were many artists at that company during the years that window would have been created.
History of Robinson Memorial United Church’s Stained Glass Windows
- from excerpts of Rev. Dr. Moir A. J. Waters’ autobiographical notes
Historical Note: – Robinson Memorial United Church was closed in October 2010 and twelve of the windows were transferred to Colborne Street United Church and rededicated in 2011.
The remaining six windows (indicated by superscript numbers 1-6) were transferred to Rowntree Memorial United Church.
When I arrived at Robinson Memorial in 1959 there was only one stained glass window in the chancel. It was installed in 1954 and the theme was The Good Shepherd. When I left in 1969, ten years later, there were twelve more memorial windows in the sanctuary. I felt that the Robinson Memorial sanctuary would become a beautiful little gem if we put in some stained glass windows. On April 11, 1961, I first brought the idea of memorial windows before the Official Board, with the suggestion that we might give any who desired to do so an opportunity to place a window in the church. After considerable discussion, permission was given and we set up a committee. There followed a good many committee meetings as we developed a theme for the windows, and settled on an artist after looking at windows by several different people.
The north side of the chancel was to be reserved for events in the life of Christ. The south side of the chancel was reserved for events in the Old Testament. A young Englishman, Christopher Wallis, who had worked on windows in Coventry Cathedral in England, was chosen as the artist to create the windows. His windows were unusual in their combination of traditional and modern. The glass used was bright and clear and colourful and greatly suited the style and colouring of the sanctuary.
We then let it be known to the congregation that stained glass windows in the Sanctuary could be placed as memorials. I would talk over the theme for the windows with the donors, and then with Christopher Wallis. We would then submit his coloured sketch of the proposed window to the donors and then to the committee for their approval.
More than a year after the committee first met, the first window was presented by the Rev. M.P. Smith, a former minister of the church (1938-1951), in memory of his late wife, Winnifred, an amateur artist of considerable ability, and who had been very popular with the members of the congregation. The theme of the window was Mary and the Risen Lord at the empty tomb following the Resurrection. It was also referred to as the “Easter Window” and dedicated on Sunday, September 30, 1962.
On May 12, 1963, the women of the congregation presented a lovely window with the Nativity scene at the stable in Bethlehem as the theme. It was placed in honour of all the women who through the years had contributed so much to the life and work of the church, and as also to commemorate the new United Church Women, uniting all the women's groups in one.
The third window was dedicated on May 19, 1963, and was placed by Fred J. Blackwell in memory of his late wife, Beatrice. The theme was Christ in Gethsemane. It depicted our Lord on his knees being presented by the cup that symbolized the bitter cup of suffering that lay ahead on the cross. One hand is presenting the cup, and another hand is stretched out in blessing over the cup. So do our cups of tragedy and loss come to our lips, but always above the cup, there is a hand, invisible to us, blessing that cup and giving us strength and courage to drink from it. I preached that morning on the theme, "The Hand in Blessing O'er the Cup."
On May 26, 1963, Carmen Hiscocks presented a window with the theme Simon of Cyrene bearing the Cross of Jesus. It was placed in memory of his father. On June 2, 1963, Carmen Hiscocks again presented a window, this time in memory of his mother. The theme was Christ on the Cross and depicted the scene on Calvary with its three crosses.
On May 10, 1964, Bill and Fran Lantz presented a window portraying Christ and the Children. The figure of Christ stands surrounded by a large group of children. This window was placed in memory of Allan and Sandra, the two Lantz children, who had both died when young.
On May 15, 1966, Mrs. J.D. Wismer presented a window in memory of her late husband Lt. Col. H. St C. Wismer. He had been a member years ago of the committee who called me to First Church. Mrs. Wismer had transferred to Robinson Memorial from First-St. Andrews when I became minister of Robinson Church. The theme of the window was the calling of the two disciples Peter and Andrew on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
On June 26, 1966, The Good Samaritan window was presented by Roger Gardiner in memory of his mother.
On December 18, 1966, two windows were presented by Fred Jones, and his two daughters, Debbie and Ginger. One was of Moses and the Ten Commandments, and the other was Jacob at Bethel, portraying his dream on the rocky hillside, with the angels ascending and descending the ladder to heaven. These windows were given in loving memory of his wife and their mother, Elsie Anne Jones.
On January 28, 1968, a window with the theme The Angel Chorus was presented by Miss Hazel Francis and other members of her family, in memory of their mother. It was one of the most spectacular of all the windows and scintillated with light. It was a smaller window, placed appropriately above the large Nativity window.
The last of the twelve windows placed during my ministry was one of The Baptism of our Lord by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. It was dedicated on April 27, 1969 by Tom Gill in memory of his late parents who for many years had been members of Robinson Memorial. This window has an added significance for me since it was the cause of the writing of the hymn "Herald Sound the Note of Judgement!" which later appeared as #1103 in the new Anglican United Church Hymn Book. During the week before the dedication of the window, I had not been able to find a hymn that suited my theme of John the Baptist as the Herald of the Messiah Jesus. That week I wrote out the hymn and it was sung for the first time after the dedication of the window. We had a trumpet accompaniment on that occasion, which greatly added to the effect of the first singing of the hymn.
On October 18, 1981, an anonymous donor contributed a window for Robinson’s 90th anniversary depicting Isaac and Rebekah - an Old Testament patriarch whose wife bore him twins - Jacob and Esau.
In October 1982, the family of Merton Entwhistle, a longtime member of the congregation gave the Abraham and Isaac window - a man who would sacrifice his son for his God.
On February 12, 1984, family and friends of Rev. Dr. Moir Waters presented a beautiful Creation window in his memory. It seems to perfectly depict Moir's thoughts on Creation.
On April 29, 1984, Caroline Johnston presented the Pentecost window in memory of her husband.  There now remained only two small windows to be placed to finish the original plan and to complete the window on the north and south sides of the Sanctuary.
On November 25, 1984, Mrs. T.O. Robinson gave the small window above the Creation window in memory of her husband. This window depicts in symbolism the God of Creation and the colours repeat those of the Creation window.
On Mother's Day 1986, Caroline Johnston gave the smaller window above the Pentecost window in memory of her mother. It contains the symbolism of the Holy Spirit.