Hay River church gets unique stained glass windows

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While stained glass windows are common in churches, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church now has two that are anything but common.

In fact, the two new stained glass windows behind the altar at the front of the church are unique pieces of Northern art.

They have been created by Hay River’s George Low, who

Stained glass artist George Low stands next to two new windows he has created for St. Andrew's Anglican Church. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Stained glass artist George Low stands next to two new windows he has created for St. Andrew’s Anglican Church.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

is well-known for his glass art.

The new windows were completed just before Christmas.

“It’s an honour for me to have it there, that’s for sure,” said Low, a member of the congregation at St. Andrew’s. “This is the kind of work I love doing.”

The two new windows represent the birth and crucifixion of Jesus Christ and two others will be created later to represent the resurrection and ascension.

Rev. Francis Delaplain welcomes the new artwork.

“Everyone absolutely loves it,” he said. “It’s such a beautiful addition to the church.”

Delaplain noted the windows change appearance in different kinds of light.

“If you come in at night, they look different,” he said. “If you come in and the sun is shining, they look different. It’s really beautiful.”

The window representing the nativity scene incorporates a teepee and an igloo into its design.

“So it kind of represents the congregation in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut,” said Low.

The Anglican Diocese of the Arctic includes Nunavut and the NWT.

On a personal level, Low noted the design of the stained glass windows also represent the Aboriginal members of his own family.

The opportunity to create the stained glass art arose because the church was upgrading all its windows for better energy conservation.

The church already has stained glass windows, but they feature basic diamond shapes.

“George said we could do something here and we started talking about it,” said Delaplain. “And George looked over different kinds of imagery and came up with these designs.”

In fact, he noted Low created the new stained glass windows before anyone had seen his ideas.

“They just trusted me with the designs,” said Low.

In all, it took close to 100 hours to create the two windows, not counting the time Low put into thinking about them and designing them.

They were created as a donation to the church, he noted. “I’m not being paid for it.”

Low said he hopes to have the two additional windows completed by next Christmas.

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