Glass Act

The First Congregational Church undergoes a restoration of its richly-hued stained glass windows — preserving an invaluable local history



(page 2 of 3)

A Greenwich Storybook

Looking at the chapel windows is like leafing through a Greenwich family album. Images of the first settlers from 1640 are here, including Elizabeth Feake, who bought Greenwich Point from the Sinawoy Indians and was the only woman in town to own land. The first pastors are represented, as is John Davenport, the spiritual leader of the New Haven Colony, under whose jurisdiction Greenwich was established. “A very strict Puritan,” comments Dan England, assistant minister and director of adult education. “It’s ironic that he should be in the window, since he’s what the Congregationalists were fighting against.” Davenport tried to enforce the strict Congregationalism of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, from which the Connecticut sect had fled.
The first meetinghouse, built in 1694, was a white clapboard building of severe New England character with clear glass windows (stained glass was considered gaudy). “It was called a meetinghouse,” says George Handley, the congregation’s business administrator, “because it was the center of the village, where people would come to meet.”

“You couldn’t have a Greenwich,” adds England, “until you had a church.”  To “procure and maintaine an orthodox minister” had been a condition of the town’s incorporation, and Greenwich residence was predicated on a certificate, signed by a minister, attesting to one’s moral character.

The windows also depict William Grimes, a reclusive bachelor who bequeathed the church thirty-two acres that provides income to this day; and the 1837 Greek Revival meetinghouse, which stood on the site of the present cemetery. The old burying ground on Tomac Road is quaintly painted with gravestones naming the movers and shakers of the seventeenth century: Perrot, Peck, Reynolds, Mead, and Ferris, for Jeffrey Ferris, who named the new community after his hometown of Greenwich, England. And, under full sail, is the Morning Star, which ferried Victorian missionaries to remote islands in the South Pacific, and the tireless churchwomen who packed the missionary barrels. Linking past with present and future, the final window shows the young people of the church carrying the cross to Greenwich Point for the Easter Sunrise service.

“I think one of the great virtues of being a part of the Christian tradition,” says England, “is that we are surrounded by history, by what Paul called clouds of witnesses. All of these people [he gestures to the windows] have been a part of who we are now. It’s the continuity with the past that gives you a real sense of participation, and an obligation to continue for the future.” 

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

    Imagine Candy located in Scarsdale Village- Winner of 2014 Best West of Westchester by Westchester Magazine- holds a Belgian Chocolate and Candy...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

    Join filmmaker Joseph Lovett as he presents his documentary film and multi-platform project of personal exploration and...

  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

    Meet the author of this powerful memoir. Joshua Safran is an author, attorney, occasional rabbi, and nationally recognized advocate for...

  • Markham Roberts: Decorating the Way I See It

    2014.11.13
     @ Belle Haven Club

    Join us as Interior Designer Markham Roberts shares coveted design insights, key to creating the perfect home. The program will include...


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