Stained Glass Windows

The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with a rich church history dating to the 1 st century A.D. A series of eight stained glass windows adorns Emmanuel’s nave, featuring depictions of significant people, events, and conflicts that have contributed to shaping our faith over the course of two millennia.


Roman Britain and Early Christianity

(Top left) St. Joseph of Arimathea (1st century AD). According to the Gospels, Joseph of Arimathea took responsibility for burying Jesus' body. According to medieval tradition, Joseph introduced Christianity to the British Isles. He is particularly associated with Glastonbury and the Holy Grail legends.

(Center) The Marytrdom of St. Alban (2nd or 3rd century AD). Saint Alban is reported as the first Christian martyr in Britain, executed for sheltering Christians from Roman persecution.

(Bottom right) The Vision of Constantine (312 AD). The Roman Emperor Constantine I was first proclaimed Emperor by his troops in Britain, altough he had to defeat several other rivals to win the throne. Prior to the Batte of the Milvian Bridge, Constantine reported receiving a vision of a cross that promised victory. After becoming Emperor, Constantine patronized Christianity and eventually became the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.


The Early Church in Britain

(Top left) St. David (c.500-589). David was a 6th century Welsh biship who eventually became the patron saint of Wales.

(Center) St. Augustine (d 604). Augustine was the leader of the Gregorian Mission to the Anglo-Saxon King Aethelbehrt of Kent in 595. Aethelberht became the first Anglo-Saxon king to convert to Christianity (his wife, the Frankish princess Bertha, was already a Christian). Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

(Bottom right) St. Columba of Iona (521-597). After being banished from Ireland for quarrelling over a manuscript, Columba set upon a series of missions to convert the Scots and peoples of the Hebrides. He famously founded Iona Abbey, which became the intellectual and spiritual center for insular "Celtic" Christiantiy.


The Anglo-Saxon Church

(Top left) Theodore of Tarsus (602-690). Theodore of Tarsus was Archbishop of Canterbury from 668-690, and is known for instituting a number of reforms aimed at bringing the Anglo-Saxon church in line with Rome.

(Top right) St. Aidan (d 651) and King Oswald (604-642). Oswald promoted the growth of Christianity in Northumbria before being killed in battle by the pagan King Penda of Mercia. Aidan of Lindisfarne, a close ally of Oswald's, spread Christianity throughout Northumbria by ministering to the disenfranchised. Aidan founded the famous cathedral monastery of Lindisfarne and served as its first prior and biship.

(Center) St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby (614-680) with Caedmon (657-684). A respected scholar and abbess of Streonshalh (late known as Whitby), Hilda presided over the Synod of Whitby (664 AD) which determined that the English church would follow Roman (rather than Celtic) customs in calculating the dates of Easter and other church traditions, Caedmon, the father of English sacred music, flourished during Hilda's tenure at Whitby.

(Bottom left) Paulinus (d 664) and King Edwin (586-633). Paulinus was a member of the Gregorian mission who became the first Archbishop of York. Paulinus converted King Edwin o Northumbria.


The Medieval English Church

(Top left) St. Dunstan (909-988). A popular medieval saint credited with nailing horshoes on the Devil, Dunstan was Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbuy.

(Top right) Alfred the Great (849-899) and the baptism of the Viking chief "Cuthrum" (d 890). In the 9th century, all of the Christian Anglo-Saxon kingdoms except for Wessesx were conquered by Danish armies. King Alfre of Wessex successfully resisted the Danes and initiated numerous reforms in the English church and society. In 878, Alfred served as the godfather of King Guthrum, rule of the Danelaw. It was the first step in creating a united Christian English kingdom.

(Center) The Martyrdom of St. Thomas A'Becket (1119-1170). In 1162, King Henry II arranged for Thomas Becket to become Archbishop of Canterbuy. Henry and Becket becam embroiled in a long feud over the authority of the church and the monarcy that ultimately resulted in Becket's murcer at the hands of royal partisans in 1170.

(Bottom Left) Venerable Bede (672-735). Popularly regarded as “The Father of English History”, Bede is venerated as a saint and a Doctor of the Church in Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions.

(Bottom Right)Device of King Edward the Confessor of England (1003-1066). Edward the Confessor enjoyed a reputation as a pious king. He oversaw the foundation of Westminster Abbey and was popularly venerated as a saint during the later Middle Ages.


English Language Bibles

(Top Left) Tyndale (1494-1536). William Tyndale was a noted scholar and theologian whose Bible translations were popular among English Protestants during the 16th and 17th centuries. A critic of Henry VIII, Tyndale was forced into exile and executed for heresy in 1536.

(Top right) Bishop Andrewes (1555-1626) and the Hampton Court Conference (1604).

(Center) John Wycliffe (d 1384) Sending Out the Lollards. John Wycliffe was a noted priest, philosopher, and Bible translator who attempted to initiate a series of Church reforms in the mid-14th century. Wycliffe’s followers, the Lollards, advocated for the doctrine of predestination and criticized clerical privilege and church ostentation. Wycliffe was executed for heresy in 1384, but his ideas were adopted by the Bohemian Hussites, who, in turn, influenced Protestant reformers in the 16th century. Catholic Church.- mid-14th century (center)

(Lower right) Coverdale (1488-1569). Myles Coverdale printed the first complete English language translation of the Bible in 1535.


Martyrs of the English Reformation

(Top left) Hugh Latimer (1487-1555) preaching before Edward VI (1537-1553). Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, was a leading advocate of Protestant ideas during the reign of Henry VII. When Henry’s son, Edward VI, became king at age nine, Latimer became his chaplain. Following Edward’s untimely death, Latimer was put to death by Queen Mary I, who was a staunch Catholic.

(Top right) Archbishop Laud (1573-1645). A devoted theologian and respected academic, William Laud served as Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Charles I. Laud attempted to impose a uniform form of worship throughout Britain, bringing him into conflict with English and Scottish Calvinists. During the English Civil Wars, Laud was executed by Parliament for treason.

(Center) Thomas Cramner, Archbishop of Canterbury (1489-1556). Thomas Cramner was Archbishop Canterbury during the reins of Henry VIII and Edward VI. Cramner composed the case for Henry’s annulment of marriage to Catherine of Aragon and played a leading role in establishing the doctrinal principles for the independence of the Church of England from Papal authority. In 1556, Queen Mary I had Cramner executed for heresy.

(Bottom Left) The Execution of Charles I (1600-1649). Charles I’s attempt to impose a greater degree of royal authority over Parliament and the Church of England resulted in a series of civil wars in England, Scotland, and Wales. After being defeated by Parliamentary forces, Charles I was executed for treason in 1649.


Evangelism in the New World

(Top left)Bishop Leonidas Polk (1806-1864). Popularly remembered as Sewanee’s “Fighting Bishop”, Leonidas Polk was Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and was instrumental in the foundation of the theological school at Sewanee. In 1861, Polk was commissioned as a Major-General in the Confederate Army. A controversial and unsuccessful military commander, Polk was killed by artillery near Marietta, Georgia in 1864.

(Top right) Consecration of Bishop Seabury (1729-1796). Samuel Seabury was an Anglican priest and devoted Loyalist during the American Revolution. Following the American victory in the Revolution, Seabury remained in the United States and became elected Bishop of Connecticut in 1783. Because there was no Anglican Bishop in the United States to consecrate him, and because, as an American citizen, he could not take the traditional oath the King of England (head of the Anglican Church), Seabury was consecrated by bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

(Center) Parson Hunt Holding Service in Jamestown, 1607. Robert Hunt (c. 1570-1608) was an Anglican priest who accompanied the expedition that founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first successfully English colony in the New World. Hunt was respected for his ability to mediate dispute and persevere in the face of hardship. On June 21, 1607, Hunt celebrated the first Anglican communion in the New World. Hunt died in Jamestown in 1608.

(Bottom left) Pocahontas (c.1596-1617). The daughter of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas’s friendship with John Smith played a critical role in relations between the English settlers and the Powhatan Confederation. During the first Anglo-Powhatan War, Pocahontas was captured, but her father refused to ransom her. While in captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity in 1613 and married the English planter John Rolfe in 1615. She died in England in 1617.

(Bottom right) Seal of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Founded in 1701 to promote missionary work in the New World, the SPGFP was active in the American colonies, but became especially prominent in British territories in Africa and the Caribbean. In the 18th century, the SPGFP became embroiled in controversy when Christopher Codrington, a wealthy sugar planter in Barbados, bequeathed his estate-including several thousand slaves- to the society. The Society used the bequest to establish Codrington College, but continued to benefit from slave labor until 1833. Renamed the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1965, the organization is currently known for its work to provide health care and poverty relief to people worldwide.


The Episcopal Church in Virginia

The Episcopal Church in Virginia William and Mary College was founded in 1693 as college of “Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good arts and sciences”. Initially, the college accepted only members of the Anglican Church. Following the American Revolution, William and Mary transitioned into a public university and became the first American university with graduate program in law and medicine.

<(Top right) Seal of the Diocese of Virginia 1607-1785/b>

(Center left, standing) Bishop Richard Channing Moore (1762-1841) Richard Channing Moore served as the diocese’s second bishop (1814-1841). Moore founded the American Bible Society and Virginia Theological Seminary.

(Center right, mounted) Bishop William Meade (1789-1862). William Meade, the third bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, was born in the Shenandoah Valley. He was critical of the institution of slavery and opposed to the succession of Virginia from the United States; however, following Virginia’s succession, he became the first bishop of the Confederate Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

(Bottom right) David Griffith (1742-1789). The Rev. David Griffith was a clergyman and surgeon from Fairfax Virginia. Griffith was a friend of George Washington and a supporter of the Patriot cause in the American Revolution. In 1786, Griffith was elected be Virginia’s first post-Revolution bishop, but was unable to raise sufficient funds to travel to England to be consecrated.


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