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The journey in Sidney church’s new window

St. Elizabeth’s Church got a huge makeover this past week with a colourful glass display, representing the journey of life.
Ed Schaefer

St. Elizabeth’s Church got a huge makeover this past week with a colourful glass display, more than 20 feet tall, representing the journey of life.

Designers Tom Mercer and Ed Schaefer of Mercer and Shaefer Glasstudios were given the suggested theme representing a Christian’s relationship with God as he or she grows and matures throughout their lifetime.

Work began at the end of October, 2015 on the contemporary stained glass window. It was completed just last week.

One of the church’s committee members, Lucy Clark, said the congregation wanted to aesthetically enhance the church and make it more beautiful. She said with it representing the journey of life, as you get closer to it, you can see footsteps going up the display.

The footprints, which begin from the bottom as an infant’s, go up to the top, ending as an elderly person’s tracks. It’s suggestive of a journey and the time humans have to experience life.

Clark added the display can also mean many things, such as human DNA.

“This is all for you to see every time something different,” she told the PNR.

The design elements described by Mercer are as follows: “The main design element, the path with it’s twists and turns, was inspired by the DNA molecule, suggesting not only Man’s journey as a species, but our shared ancestry with all life on earth. It spirals around the central clear cross formed by the arms of the upper windows. It’s colours and forms suggest life’s struggles and triumphs; birth, growth, and death, from and back into the Mystery. The cross refers to Christ, while the colour purple to God the Father, both always with us on our journey. The golden path represents Life, and separation from sins, while the red implies passion and the sins we inevitably commit. The image of the earth reminds us both of our place here on our lovely and peaceful island and of our shared responsibilities to others less fortunate than us. The sundial and phases of the moon remind us again of the passage of time, while the galaxy suggests a wider view of our place in the universe, and the Mystery of God’s Creation.”

Traditional leaded glass, hand-blown and imported from Germany, was used for the window, Mercer said.

“Someone over there takes a blob of molten glass and blows a big, long three-foot bubble. They’ll flatten it and open it up in a kiln and there’s a sheet of glass,” he said.

As for the bright colours on each piece of glass, Mercer referred to it as “flashed antique,” meaning most of the glass is clear with the blobs of molten glass dipped in a specific colour.

People can view the completed glass display at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church at 10030 3rd St. in Sidney.

— with files from Tom Mercer, Shaefer Glasstudios