Edit ModuleShow Tags

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.” 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Greenwich Agenda

  • Interactive Live Nativity at First Congregational Church

    2014.12.21
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    The Sheep are Back! Interactive Live Nativity at The First Congregational Church of Greenwich 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich (across from...

  • 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop

    2014.11.28

    Santa and his LIVE reindeer - Dancer, Dasher, Prancer and Blitzen, are coming back to town for the 6th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival &...

  • 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...

  • The Best of 2014: Cecile Chong, David, Ruth Hiller, David Licata, Loanne Mattera, Jill Parisi, Kristen Thiele

    2014.11.08
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY I Dates: November 8 – December 22, 2014     Opening Reception: November 8, 6:30 – 8:00 PM Public Invited THE BEST OF 2014:  Cecile...

  • Christmas Tree and Wreath Sale for Charity

    2014.11.29
     @ First Congregational Church of Greenwich

    O, Christmas Tree; O Christmas Tree Buy your tree and help those in need this Christmas! It’s time for the annual Christmas Tree and...

  • Antarctica: Photographs by Diane Tuft

    2014.10.28
     @ Bruce Museum

    October 28, 2014 - February 1, 2015 Selections from Gondwana, Images of an Ancient Land Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT...

  • Exhibition: Native American Pottery from the Bruce Museum Collection

    2014.11.22
     @ Bruce Museum

      Generously underwritten by Gabelli Funds and The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund Over the years, the Bruce Museum has...

  • Family Gallery Tours

    2014.10.26
     @ Bruce Museum

    Designed for children ages 6-10 and their families, these tours will provide an interactive, discussion-based tour of the museum’s current...

  • 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...

  • Shakespeare's 450th Birthday Celebration

    2014.12.31
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    New Year’s Eve - Shakespeare’s Big Birthday Bash: A UNIQUE ELIZABETHAN FEAST CELEBRATING the 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare...

  • Whitby School Open House

    2015.01.11
     @ Whitby School

    When you visit Whitby, you'll see how children take the lead in their own learning, under the guidance of expertly trained and caring...

  • Greenwich Ballet Academy Open Auditions

    2015.01.12
     @ Greenwich Ballet Academy

    Greenwich Ballet Academy will be holding Open Auditions for their Spring Semester and Summer Intensive the week of January 12th, with a designated...

  • Family Fun Day Sunday

    2015.01.25
     @ Hyatt Greenwich

    Best family bonding day ever! Get your tickets now! Enjoy 9,500 square feet of fun, pampering, and family togetherness! Baby loves disco...

  • Positively Me

    2015.01.30
     @ Junior League of Greenwich

  • TuB’shevat-Shanahnah With Sandi

    2015.02.03
     @ Temple Sinai

    For children ages 6 months - 2 years and their parents or caregivers Celebrate a whole year of holidays with the JCC Sara Walker Nursery School...

  • Fairfield County's Giving Day

    2015.03.05

    Fairfield County's Giving Day - bigger and better than ever! On March 5, 2015, join thousands as we celebrate local giving! Fairfield...

  • Spring Gala to benefit Kids in Crisis

    2015.03.06
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The Kids in Crisis do-not-miss event, The Spring Fling, will be held on Friday, March 6, 2015, at the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, CT. It...

  • 2015 United Sole Sisters Luncheon

    2015.04.23
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    Sole Sisters Annual Spring Luncheon and Fashion Accessories Boutique Guest speaker to be announced. Luncheon chairs: Diane Viton and Jill...

  • Greening our Children's Annual Benefit

    2015.05.01
     @ Hyatt Regency

    Greening our Children's Annual Benefit May 1, 2015 Start Time: 6:30pm Hyatt Regency Greenwich With honored guest and Champion...


Show More...

Moffly Media e-newsletters

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular Articles

  1. Sugarplums and Snowflakes: A Nutcracker Holiday Gala
    Eastern Greenwich Civic Center
  2. Olivine Gabbro Opening Party
    Olivine Gabbro
  3. Holiday House Tour
    Greenwich
  4. Tree Conservancy Celebration
    Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses
  5. Festivals and Charity Runs This Holiday Season
    Holiday 2014 in Greenwich
Edit ModuleEdit Module