Introduction to the 1998 Booklet

Several years ago the Rev. Debra J. Kissinger did a series of sermons about the stained glass windows of St.Peter's church -- explaining the symbolism of each part and their relationship to the Bible. The sermons were so well received that many said we should do a book with them.

The book is the outgrowth of that inspiration and the cooperation of many people:
It is our sincere wish that you will find this booklet as informative and inspirational as the parish found the original sermons. We also hope this book will help to preserve and perpetuate among the people the history of the church universal, as well as the local parish of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Oxford. Connecticut.

Marilyn DeBisschop Serus
Senior Warden
November. 1998

Regarding the History of the Windows

Friday, Sept. 14, 1877
    The Ladies Society of St. Peter’s Church will be holden at the residence of Mrs. Clark Osborn, at the center, Thursday afternoon and evening, of next week. Ice cream and peaches will be served in the evening. There will be a meeting of the above named parish at the church on Saturday evening, Sept. 15th at 7 1/ 2 o’clock, for the purpose of making arrangements for the repairs of the foundation of the church and to transact any other necessary or proper business,

Friday, Oct. 25, 1877
    The foundation of St. Peter’s Church has been relaid and the church raised about eight inches, by Mr Luther Fowler of West Haven, making quite an improvement. Friday, March 22, 1878 There will be a meeting in St. Peter’s church on Monday evening, Mar. 2Sth, at 71/ 2 o’clock for the purpose of appointing a committee to direct the repairs of the church and also to do any other business proper to come before said meeting.

May 31, 1878
    Mr. Torrance of St. Peter’s Church, will hold service at Southford on Sunday, June 9th at the usual hour, morning and afternoon. The repairs and addition to the Episcopal church are being made by John Davis and Charles Hyde of Seymour.

June 7, 1878
    An addition 10 x 32 ft. has been put on St. Peter’s Church, making a Vestry Room, Recess Chancel, and Library Room. New joists and flooring have been put down, also new piers for floor timbers to rest on. New walls will soon be put on. When the new seats are put in the church will have three aisles, The carpenter work is done under the direction of Frederick Beecher, who is assissted by Messrs. Davis and Hyde of Seymour, Cable and Bcnham of Oxford, and Austin Hint of Southford, The mason work thus far has been done by Everett and Samuel Hubbell of Oxford.

Aug. 1, 1878
    The repairs and improvements on St. Peter’s Church having been so far completed as to permit of services, the formal reopening will take place on Friday, Aug 2nd, commencing at 10:30 A. M. Rev. Mr. Lobdell of St. Paul’s Church, New Haven, in the absence of Bishop Williams, will preach the sermon. The celebration of the Holy Communion will follow the regular service.
    The hours of service in the church Sunday next and until further notice will be lo: 30 A. M. and 1 P. M. Rev. Messer. Scott of Naugatuck, Colton of Bethany, Lines of West Haven, Van Buren of Seymour and Roberts of Plainville, are expected to be present. A general invitation is extended to attend the services,

Jan. 26, 1888
    At a meeting held at the residence of C. H. Butler last Saturday evening Feb. 2nd was the day set for an entertainment and supper to raise funds to add to that already available for the purpose of putting in new windows, painting and making any other needed repairs on St. Peter’s church, but finding the time too short to make neccssary arrangements, a postponement has been made till after Easter.
    In the meantime, however, as encouraging offers have already been made, an effort will be made to raise a sufficient amount by subscription to complete the work so well begun a few years since. The contrast between the improvements made and that left undone has been enjoyed quite long enough for comfort to those who attend the services, especially in zero weather, and for the good of the church building.
    Donations for the purposes specified will be thankfully received by Rev. Mr. Morris, rector, Mrs. Geo. P. Sanford, treasurer of the Ladies Society, A. B, Hinman, E. B. Treat, or C. H. Butler.

Feb. 23,1888
    There will be a special meeting of St. Peter’s Parish at the Church on Saturday evening, Feb. 25th at 7 o’clock, for the purpose of appointing committees to raise funds and carry on the purposed work of putting in new windows and painting the church. A general attendance of those interested is desired.

March 1,1888
    At the special meeting of St. Peter’s parish the following committees were appointed in connection with the work of putting in new windows, painting, etc. For soliciting funds, E. B. Treat, C. H. Butler, A. D. Smith, Mrs. Goe. Sanford. To attend to the work of the windows, Burritt Davis, C. H. Butler, E, B. Treat, 0. C. Osborn and A. B. Hinmam. Committee on painting, E. B. Treat, A. B. Hinman, F. L. Davis.
    The work in contemplation is greatly encouraged and simplified by the fact that the prospects seem good for having memorials furnished for all the windows in the main portion of the church.

April 26,1888
    The result of the movement started about two months since to provide new windows for St. Peter’s church far exceeds all expectations. Then it was hoped that this work would all have to be done parish wise, but instead all are to be memorials as follows: to the memory of Atwater Treat and family, by survivors of the same; to Harry and Mary Sutton, by Harry Sutton of New Haven; to Hiram and Sarah Osborn, by Mrs Burritt Davis; to Joel Osborn and family, by O. C. Osborn; to Reuben Bunnell, by A. L. Hodge of Roxbury; to Ruth Terrell, bencfactor, by the parish.
    There is one more vacancy which it is expected will soon be taken so that the work of all can go on together, and be put in the positions to be assigned by the vestry for each. Mr. Colgate of New York will have his work done by the last of June.

May 17,1888
    The question of windows for St. Peter’s church is now definitely settled. The committee on behalf of the parish have ordered those for the tower or front, and Burritt Davis a memorial to his father and mother. Mr. Davis is the only survivor of fourteen children of Col. John and MehitablE Davis.
    The new windows are all to be of cathedral glass and the five memorials are to cost a hundred dollars each. The expense of the frames to receive the metal sash, putting in wire protectors, painting, etc, will be borne by the parish, for which the estimated cost will be about $300, and for which contributions will be thankfully received, without personal solicitation, from all who would be pleased to aid in the cause.

June 28,1888
    The work of putting in the memorial windows in St, Peter’s church will be completed ready for exhibition next Sunday.

July 5,1888
    The new memorial windows, good music, a very appropriate sermon, and fine flowers made it pleasant to be in St. Peter’s church last Sunday.

July 12,1888
    The presence of Rev. W. B. Walker here last Sunday recalls to memory the many pleasant weekly visits he made to the parish in 1876 and 7- then an able student, now no less so as a preacher. In twelve years he finds many changes, some new faces.
    Those in youth familiar, then have somewhat grown out of recognition, but the most marked change and which impressed him greatly is in St. Peter’s church, where about $300. has since been expended to perpetuate and beautify. Then the eloquence echoed through the time shattered sash and broken walls, but now through the ventilators of memorial windows.

Aug. 9,1888
    The wise protectors to the windows in St. Peter’s church have been put on this week.

   The east wall of St. Peter’s houses a traditional triptych-form stained glass window composed of three panels, pointing to the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives. The center panel also identifies our Patron saint, St. Peter. As with most triptychs, the central panel is dominant and the left and right panels are descriptive of the central theme. The window should not be read from left to right, rather it should be interpreted from the center out.
    The focal point of the center panel depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Throughout the first thousand years of the Christian Era, Christ was portrayed most frequently as the Good Shepherd. The ancient Hebrews thought of God as the shepherd of Israel and this form of thinking was adopted by the early Church. In the east window, Jesus is represented as the young shepherd bringing home the lost sheep. With one arm he cradles the animal close to his bosom, with the other hand he holds the shepherd’s staff. The shepherd, a symbol found in the catacombs, calls to mind the loving care of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
    The halo-like effect, or nimbus, around Jesus’ head is emblematic of sanctity and denotes a person recognized for unusual piety, such as apostles, martyrs, and saints. Rays of light are ancient emblems of divine power. A three-rayed nimbus, such as is depicted in the Good Shepherd window, signifies divinity and is used only with the three Persons of the Trinity.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased. ” (Luke 3: 21,22) ,

    Directly above Jesus is a descending dove. Traditionally the dove expresses innocence and purity. Surrounded by its own nimbus, the dove is a traditional symbol of the Holy Spirit. Here the dove signifies the Holy Spirit and the presence of God as hovering over the water at Creation, and above Jesus at his baptism.

    The left and right panels are both symmetrical in denotation and design. Together the panels further describe and point to Jesus’ meaning in our lives. Each panel houses a sacred monogram for Jesus in the upper section. The left panel presents an Alpha and Omega (AR), the familiar first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Together, these symbols, were used in the early Christian Church to denote the eternity and infinitude of God. Jesus is the alpha and the omega, he is the beginning and end of all things. (See Hebrews 13: 8, Revelation 1: 8).

A decorative IHS or iota, eta, sigma is found in the upper right panel. ?????IHIOYI is the Greek spelling of Jesus. The first three letters, ???/HZ, are essentially the abbreviation of Jesus’ name in Greek. When this is transcribed from Greek into Latin it appears as IHS. While the ???IHZ form for Jesus’ name is more ancient, the second form,  ??IHS, is now more common. Both forms, however, are correct.  Like the alpha and the omega in the right panel, the letters are intertwined for ornamental purposes.  

The center sections of the left and right panels respectively picture wheat and a cluster of grapes. These symbols represent the bountiful gifts that come from the earth and are given to us from God. We, in turn, take them and make them into bread and wine and offer them back to God in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not thirst” (John 6: 35). The wheat and the grapes represent the life giving force, Christ’s body and blood, which was given for us on the cross. In the Holy Communion we receive Christ’s body broken and blood shed I with thanksgiving.

The cross is the primary symbol for Christianity. It was on the cross that Christ died for our sins. It is only fitting the lower sections of the outside panels each include this important symbol. The left panel features a Cross Trefflee, which is also known as a Cross Botonnee. This beautiful form of the cross is appropriately named for the ends of the cross which formed as trefoils. The Cross Trefflee is widely used wherever a decorative style of cross is needed. It is very popular and is often used to decorate corporals, stoles, or exteriors of buildings, because it is easily executed in architectural form.

The lower right panel features an anchor, a traditional symbol of hope. The anchor is an ancient form of the cross found from the earliest of Christian history. The stock and the shank form the familiar cross-shape. Many anchor crosses are found in Roman catacombs or burial places of early Christians. The early Church described itself as “the ark of salvation” and often depicted itself as a ship. The anchor, or Jesus, then represents the stability in an unstable sea or security in an insecure world.

There is one final symbol in the lower portion of the center panel. These are the keys that represent our patron saint, Saint Peter. They are also representative of Peter’s relationship to Jesus. Jesus figuratively gave the keys to the Kingdom to Peter along with the power to bind and to loose (Matthew 16: 19). There are two traditions within the church about the keys, both are non-scriptural. The first is that the keys were both silver and that they were the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. The second tradition is that the keys were made of two different substances, gold and iron. In this tradition the gold key is the key to heaven, while the iron key opens the gate to hell. The keys found in the East window are different, if only slightly, in shade.


The Joel Osborne and Col. John and Mehetable Davis Memorial Window, the Front Window of the South side wall, is visually stimulating and highly symbolic. The symbols of the window seem to reach beyond themselves and are both poetic and visionary in character.

Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” Revelation 5:11-13

The lower left panel depicts the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God reclining on a book with seven seals and seated upon an altar. The lamb is an ancient symbol of the absolute faultless creature that was offered as a burnt sacrifice to God by the ancient Israelites for their sins. The offering to the Lord was complete; the lamb was not simply roasted, but fully burnt and consumed. In Christian symbolism, Jesus is the Lamb of God who was sacrificed totally in his “one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world” (BCP 334). The Lamb rests on the Book with seven seals because he alone, having been slain, is worthy to open the seals of the book which contains the fixed purposes of God for all eternity. The altar represents both the sacrificial altar and the throne of God. This panel of the window honors Christ and his sacrifice while looking to the future God has in mind for us.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. Matthew 28:19,20

The lower right panel presents an early understanding of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. The belief that there is one God but three Persons is depicted through the use of a series of circles and a slightly rounded out triangle. The Father (Pater) is God (Deus); the Son (Filius) is God; and the Holy Spirit (Spiritus San& us) is God. But the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. The triangle is depicted pointing downward, because of the filioque (Holy Spirit) clause, which was added to the creed at the Council of Nicea. The clause which suggests that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to and proceeds from the Father and the Son, was controversial. As a result the Church in the East split away from the Church in the West. This panel, which depicts the doctrine of the Trinity, honors God and the Church.

The upper halves of both the left and right panels are perfectly symmetrical. Each panel contains a large patee cross. This beautiful form of a cross, with four equal length arms slightly curving outward, has been used widely throughout the centuries for decorative purposes. Three circles, which continue the Trinity theme from the lower half of the window, overlay the patee cross. The outermost circle takes the shape of a scalloped nimbus which denotes holiness. Just above the cross on each panel is a lavender daisy. The daisy is a symbol that represents the gift received by the pure light of day. The daisy or “day’s eye” gets its name from the fact that the flower opens at sunrise and closes each day at sunset.

And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:6b, 7

The top panel depicts a flying or rising eagle, a symbol with multiple meanings. Traditionally, each of the four living creatures in the Revelation according to John have been assigned to the four evangelists. The rising eagle was assigned to St. John the Evangelist because of the way in which his gaze in his writing pierced further into the mysteries of heaven than that of any man. Since the second century, the four living creatures have also been assigned to four events of Christ’s life: Man (the Nativity), the Ox (his sacrificial death), the Lion (his victorious resurrection) and the Eagle (his Ascension). in rare instances, the eagle doubles for a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Irenaeus, in his writing, likened the eagle to “the Spirit hovering with his wings over the Church.” *

The entire window is bordered in blue and red, traditional colors for heavenly truth and martyrdom, love and hate respectively. The frequent use of grapes and leaves ties into the imporance of eucharistic sacrifice. Unique to this window is the use of architecture as a unifying devise. The columns and arches in both the upper and lower panels give the window a sense of structure and solidity. The banks of lilies, common to many memorial windows, are traditional symbols for the resurrection.

Taken together, the symbols of this window honor the holy one of God, the agnus dei, the doctrine of the Trinity, and therefore the Church as a whole. Rich in color and character, this highly symbolic window seems to lure the viewer, like John’s writings, into another realm.

Col. John Davis

Col. John Davis was the son of Capt. Joseph and Mary (Wheeler) Davis, he was born in Oxford (then Derby) on Sept 28, 1755 and died in Oxford On Nov. 11, 1848; a lifespan of 93 yrs. 1 month and 29 days. He was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford. John attained the rank of Colonel commanding the 32nd Regiment of CT Militia. He served in many capacities at St, Peter’s Church including warden, Moderator and Convention Delegate. The land for the first church building and cemetery was acquired from his father, Capt. Joseph Davis. On Oct. 4, 1782 he married Mehetable Thomas of New Haven.

*“ He was a man much respected in and about Oxford, for his sterling qualities both as a citizen and neighbor. When he was 90 years old he broke a colt and rode him from Oxford to New Haven; a distance of 12- 15 miles.” * Davis Family Genealogy, Silas Bronson Library, Wtby., CT

Mehetable Thomas

The daughter of Reuben and Rhoda (Clinton) Davis of West Haven, born Dec. 10, 1764 in New Haven, and died in Oxford Dec. 27, 1852, a lifespan of 88 yrs, 8 months and 15 days. She was buried in St, Peter’s Cemetery, Oxford, next to her husband. Mehetable and John had 14 children, all born in the same house on Chestnut Tree Hill In Oxford. Their grandson, the Rev, Sheldon Davis was an Episcopal clergyman and filled the pulpit at St, Peter’s in 1877.

Joel Osborne

The only son of Hiram and Sarah Finch Osborn was born in Oxford in 1821 and died in Oxford on May 25, 1871 at age 50. He married Catherine S. Washburn (Washband) on June 11, 1846. Catherine was born Aug 25, 1823, the daughter of Josiah S. and Catherine (Smith) Washburn, and died Feb. 2 1876 * ‘All during his honorable and useful life he lived in the Wheeler Homestead and was one of the most popular men in town-socially and politically. He represented the town several times in the Legislature and filled every office in town.” * The Seymour Record, Sept. 3, 1914.

Center Window - South Side
The Harry & Mary Sutton Memorial window is uniform and symmetrical in design. Colors and symbols are used in very traditional patterns throughout the window. Unique to this window is the rich background tile design which gives the viewer a sense of looking down at a floor, almost as if standing on the floor of a palace.

The Holy Trinity is the focus of the top panel, as well as the entire top half of the window. A triangle with the Latin word Deus (God) inside is the focal point of this panel. The triangle is a traditional symbol for the Trinity. Each side of the triangle represents one of the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Without any one of the three sides the triangle collapses. Likewise, without any one of the three persons of the Trinity our understanding of God is not complete. A gold lozenge shaped nimbus surrounds the central symbol. The nimbus signifies the divinity or divine glory of God.

The upper panels are perfectly symmetrical and continue the Trinitarian focus of the top panel. Uppermost in each panel is a shamrock surrounded by a traditional heraldic patterned trefoil. Both the trefoil and the shamrock are symbols of the Trinity because of the three leaf pattern inherent in their design. Legend suggests that St, Patrick picked shamrocks and used them as illustrations for the Trinity when he preached to the pagans in Ireland. The shamrock and trefoils are set on a rich blue background which traditionally stands for a heavenly love or an unveiling truth.

Just below the shamrock and trefoil combination is a collection of three lilies in a large circle with a red background. The circle, which is never-ending, suggests the eternality of God. Also eternal are the three persons of the Trinity as suggested in the three lilies. One final pattern of three is found below each lily circle. There are three smaller bronze or gold circles lying on a blue field with red borders. This section of the window seems to almost separate the upper and lower portions and, in some ways, to separate the earthly concerns expressed in the lower half of the window from the heavenly promise represented in the upper half.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5: 8)

Again, the lower half of the window is perfectly symmetrical in every way. The focus of these two panels is the colorful heraldic shields and their contents. Purity and immortality are represented in the lilies which pictorially represent the Easter message. Just as new life is released from what appears to be a dead bulb lying in the ground, so too, God brings new life out of what was once considered dead,

Wrapped around these symbols of the resurrection is a scroll containing the sixth beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The Sixth beatitude is perhaps one of the most outstanding because it seems most inaccessible. We hardly know which is more beyond us, the condition or the promise - purity of heart or seeing God. To live a life that is “pure in heart” is to live a life focused on God alone; it requires rightness of mind and singleness of heart. The beatific vision has been the agelong goal both of philosopher and saint, but this beatitude promises more than mere vision - it promises our deepest longing - to see God! Scholars have interpreted this verse in two ways, First, if in this life we live a life that is pure in heart, we will begin to see and recognize God at work around us. The second view states that if we live a life with purity of heart in this realm, in the life to come we will see God face to face.

All three panels are tied together with a border of green and gold, colors which represent spring, triumph, regeneration of the soul through good works, and life after death. Overall, the window may be interpreted from the bottom up. It is God who is our shield and must be our focus through the trials and tribulations of this life. It is our hope and God’s promise, that in so much as we able to live a life “pure in heart”, we will come to know God in this world and in the life to come see God face to face. Through the use of colors and design, our eyes are drawn upward through the gate of heaven where we come to know God more fully as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Beyond that heavenly place resides God, the pinnacle of divine glory, whom we will ultimately come to see face to face.

Harry Sutton
    Harry was baptized at St. Peter’s in 1817 presumably by The Rev, Aaron Humphrey. He was confirmed in 1838 at St. Peter’s church. Harry died on Aug. 19, 1875 and was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, At the Annual Meeting on April 2, 1874 he was elected a Warden of St. Peter’s Church, Harry and Mary Antoinette Smith were married on May 9,1833 at St. Peter’s

Mary Antoinette Smith
    Mary, the daughter of Ira H, and Nabba Prindle Smith, and granddaughter of the Rev. Chauncey and Rosanah Prindle, was baptized at St. Peter’s in 1817 by the Rev. Aaron Humphrey. She married Harry Sutton on May 9, 1833 and they lived on the Seymour Rd. Mary died July 20,1886 and was buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Oxford. The Rev, Chauncey Prindle was the first settled minister at St, Peter’s.

Rear Window - South Side
       The Hanford and Delia Alvira Fairchild Memorial Window is symmetrical and simple in design. is very traditional and the least ornate of St. Peter's windows. This window employs symbols of the Resurrection, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Common to many memorial windows, the overall theme of this window is the promise of the Resurrection made possible in Christ Jesus.
       Each panel contains one primary symbol housed in a circle representing the eternality of God. The left side panel contains a lily, a symbol of the Resurrection. Out of a decaying bulb in the ground, new life is released in this symbolic and traditional Easter symbol, the lily.

       The right panel contains a more obscure flower in Christian tradition, the Columbine. Derived from columba, the Latin word for "dove", the Columbine is said to look like a dove in flight. The dove is a traditional symbol for the Holy Spirit. A Columbine stalk generally has seven blossoms, which are associated with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as noted in the Revelation of St. John 5:12: "power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and Blessing!" The Columbine is also associated with the Spirit of the Lord in the following Isaiah passage:
       "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-2)

       The final dominant symbol, a Phoenix, is housed in the top panel. The Phoenix, which is a mythical bird, was  thought to be a sign of the Resurrection by many early Christians and was often used on burial stones. Briefly put, the legend tells of a bird that lives for five hundred years, builds a nest for a funeral pyre and burns itself to death. Then it rises from its own ashes and starts a new  life. The legend has a long and broad history in Greece, Egypt, Arabia and Rome. The first known Christian writer to take the legend over was Clement of Rome about 98 A.D. He gives the legend in his Letter to the Corinthians and makes it an example of the Creator of the universe bringing about the resurrection of the faithful. Later, the phoenix came to signify the Resurrection of Christ.

         All three panels are framed in rich and deep hues of a red and blue border. Red is the traditional color for martyred saints, love. hate and sovereign power. Blue is the traditional color for heavenly love and the unveiling of truth. Both side panels share a common (although faded)
 background of diamond-shaped glass pieces each containing one of two symbols for Jesus Christ.
     The first symbol is that of a Cross Botonnee or budded cross. This traditional cross has trefoils on the end of each arm and suggests a young immature Christian. Hanging on the cross which recalls Jesus' death is the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head by the soldiers at his Passion and Crucifixion.

     The second symbol is a decorative IHS or iota, eta, sigma. IHEOYE is the Greek spelling of Jesus. The first three letters. IHI, are essentially the abbreviation of Jesus' name in Greek. When this is transcribed from Greek into Latin it appears as IHS.

        Overall, the Fairchild Memorial window has its background and foundation in Jesus Christ, (Cross Botonnee and IHS) who was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, like the Phoenix, he rose again. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit (Columbine) we share our hope in the promise of the Resurrection, represented by the Lily and the Phoenix.

Hanford Fairchild
     Hanford was the son of Ebenezer and Eunice (Lewis) Fairchild. He was born Mar. 7, 1799, confirmed at St. Peter's Mar. 11,1860 by Bishop John Williams and died Nov 28, 1871, aged 73 years. He was buried in St,. Peter's Cemetery. He was a carpenter and for a number of years was a postman from Oxford to New Haven. He served as Committeeman and Vestryman at St. Peter's for many years. On Jan. 10, 1822 he married Delia Elvira Twichell.

Delia Elvira Twichell
      She was born Oct 7, 1800 and in 1801 was baptized by the Rev Richard Mansfield, the founder of St. Peter's Church. She died June 14, 1870 and was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery.

Front Window - North Side
       "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ...Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." -- Ephesians 6:10,11, 14-17

The Osborn and Davis Memorial window is the only window at St. Peter's which draws all of its images from only one scripture passage: The Whole Armor of God. Paul's letter to the Ephesians focuses on unity with Christ in standing against the wiles of the devil by putting on the Whole Armor of God. The window is best read from bottom to top, crossing back and forth from the left and right panels and following Paul's instructions in the passage about how to do battle with evil both in this world and the next.

"He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor.... Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and the faithfulness the girdle of his loins." -- Isaiah 11:3-5

Much of the imagery for the Ephesians passage can be found throughout the Old Testament. As a devout Jew, Paul drew on the rich pictures already in the Hebrew Scriptures to pull together the "Whole Armor of God" imagery. In instructing the community, Paul first tells the body to gird their loins with truth. The community must live in truth, see themselves as truthful and be truthful with others; so must we. The girdle or belt of truth is found in the lower left panel.
"He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head, he put on garments of vengeance for clothing and wrapped himself in fury as a mantle." -- Isaiah 59:17

        It is first and foremost God's armor Paul is referring  to throughout the passage and it is God's armor that we must put on. The community Paul addresses is sinful.  Having confessed its sin, God intervenes and offers the righteousness which God alone can provide. Without a breastplate, a warrior would be susceptible to injury. Likewise, without God's Breastplate of Righteousness, we, too, are vulnerable to the enemy. The Breastplate of Righteousness is found in the lower right panel.

        The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace are found in the lower left panel intertwined with the belt of truth. Remembering Isaiah's passage (52:7): "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good," Paul gently reminds his hearers of the temptation to not live by the law of love when faced with evil. He seems to remind them and us to put on our shoes not so much as to protect our feet, as to encourage us to lace up in love and to step into grace. In today's idiom Paul's seems to say, that we must be careful to "walk our talk!"

        The shield of Paul's day was so large that it would cover an entire man. Made of canvas or hide stretched over a wooden frame, the shield would easily serve as a barrier from the flaming darts or spears with fire-lit, pitch-covered tips to which Paul refers. The shield is the largest of all God's armor. Faith, the natural by-product of continually renewing one's self in commitment to God, will be our best shield when faced with both the verbal and physical assault of the evil one. The Shield of Faith is pictured in both lower panels and frames the other articles of God's armor.

       The Helmet of Salvation finds its roots in the Isaiah passage quoted above. A helmet is essential to protect the head of the soldier in battle. Jesus who is the head of the Body of Christ, the Church, has given us the gift of salvation through his death. We, like Paul's listeners, are to put Jesus on as our helmet; he alone will protect us. The Helmet of Salvation is found, quite naturally, in the top panel or the head of the window.

"...the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." --Hebrews 4:12
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me," is an age-old children's rhyme that always rings false. Physical injuries will heal with time, but the wound inflicted with bitter and sour words can cause a lifetime of misery. The only offensive weapon in God's arsenal is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  God's servants yield this sword through their spoken word, "Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light" (Hosea 6:5). It is our knowledge and use of the scripture, of God's Holy Word, that will be our line of defense against the enemy. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is found in the lower right panel with the Breastplate of Righteousness.

       The entire window is designed in typical heraldic fashion using rich hues of red, blue, silver and gold. Overall, the window and Paul's Ephesians passage serve to remind us that God both wears and supplies the armor for us to wear in the ongoing battle with evil in the world. Just as Christ triumphed over evil, we, too, can stand in unity with him, by putting on the Whole Armor of God and living our lives in Christ's ways.

Burritt Davis
    Son of Col. John and Mehetable (Thomas) Davis, Burritt was born in Oxford July 12, 1806 and died there on May 24, 1893 aged 86 years, 10 months and 12 days. After his marriage on Dec. 11,1828 to Sarah Electa Osborne he remained on the Old Homestead on Chestnut Tree Hill, where all his children were born and where he died. Burritt held many offices at St. Peter's Church.

Sarah Electa Osborne
    Sarah was the daughter of Hiram and Sarah (Finch) Osborne. She was born in Oxford on May 6, 1809 and died there on Jan. 4, 1889; aged 80 years, 7 months and 28 days. Sarah and her husband Burritt were both confirmed at St. Peter's Church on Sept. 9,1828 by Bishop Brownell.

Hiram Osborn
Hiram came from Goshen in his early life and died in Oxford on Sept. 13,1870. He was 85 years old making him bom circa 1785. He is first mentioned in the church records on Jan. 11, 1820, having been appointed Collector of Church taxes. He was one of the largest contributors for the building of the new church. Hiram married Sarah Finch, at Oxford, on Jan. 29,1806.

Sarah Finch
Sarah was born in Oxford about 1785, the daughter of Daniel Finch and Sarah Wooster and died there on Jan. 3 1863, at 78 years of age. Sarah and Hiram were the parents of Sarah Electa Osborne and Joel Osborn.

Center Window - North Side

      The Center Window on the North side wall tells the story of God's eternal promise to those who believe, "Blessed are the Dead who die in the Lord." The Atwater Treat Family Window is a memorial window that recalls God's presence in death and promise of life eternal to those who believe.

       "At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark.... Then he sent forth a dove...but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him.... He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark: and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf: so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth." (Genesis 8:6-11)

       The dove with an olive branch pictured in the upper section of the North Center Window is a symbol of the Flood.  It denotes peace, forgiveness and anticipation of new beginning after the death of the Flood and new life in God's romise "that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth" (Genesis 9:11).

       The combination of the lamp and the hourglass recalls the parable of the Wise and Foolish Maidens (Matthew 25:1-13) in which five maidens took extra oil for their lamps on a trip to meet the bridegroom, while the other five failed to bring adequate provisions. When the bridegroom was about to arrive, the five maidens in need of more oil went to the dealers to purchase some and missed their opportunity to go into the marriage feast. When they knocked at the door, Jesus said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Matthew 25:12,13).

       The maidens represent all expectant believers in Jesus and the parable contrasts the two ways of being faithful while waiting for the Lord's return. The Wise maidens were prepared and ready for Jesus' return, regardless of the hour. The sands ran through the hourglass faster than the foolish maidens could have imagined, and the admission door to the Kingdom was shut in their face. So also must we be ready, because we never know when Jesus may invite us to join him.

       "Blessed are the Dead who die in the Lord, even so saith the spirit for they rest from their Labors." Revelation 14:13

       This verse of scripture is taken from the fourteenth chapter of The Revelation to John. In this section, three angels express the consequences of divine judgment for humanity; the criterion will be whether one followed the beast or the Lamb. The followers of the beast will suffer continuous and unending punishment by fire. This description of punishment is not an opportunity for the readers to gloat over their enemies; rather it functions as an incentive for them to "keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus" (v. 12). The implied threat of punishment in vv. 9-12 is balanced by the suggestion of reward in the appended sayings in v. 13.

        Those who "follow the Lamb...are spotless..." (v.4,5) and the center north window employs the traditional symbol of purity and virginity - the Lily. Often associated with St. Mary, St. Joseph, St. Anne, the mother of Mary, and St. Gabriel, the Lily is most often associated with Easter, the Day of Resurrection of our Lord. The promise of new life in Christ, which is the entire message of the window, is available through the blood of Jesus which is represented by the border of vines and grapes that tie together the various symbols of the window into a whole unity.

Atwater Treat Family
     Atwater, the son of Elijah Treat and Esther (Rhodes) Mallory, was born Sept. 4, 1810 at Oxford and died Feb. 2, 1888. He was baptized, confirmed and on Oct. 30, 1835 married Elizabeth Ann Terrell, daughter of Eli and Eunice (Hitchcock) Terrell, at St. Peter's, Oxford. She was born Aug. 5,1812 and was also baptized and confirmed at St. Peter's. Elijah and Esther were the parents of Elijah B. Treat, born Nov. 13, 1850. He was baptized Sept. 17, 1854 and confirmed on May 9. 1867.

    On April 23, 1873 he and Sarah A. Curtiss, daughter of Charles L. and Delia (Lewis) Curtiss, were married at St. Peter's Church. Their son, Atwater Curtiss Treat was born Feb. 2, 1874, baptized, confirmed and on May 21, 1913 married at St. Peter's, Jennie Andrus, daughter of Rolla L and Mary Frances(Treat) Andrus. Elijah B. served St. Peter's faithfully as a Sunday School teacher, Clerk, Treasurer and Senior Warden for many years. Atwater C. served as Vestryman, Cemetery Chair-
man, Warden from 1935-1955 and as parish clerk from 1912-1951. His wife Jennie succeeded him as clerk serving from Jan. 1952 through June of 1959.
     Their daughter Marion Treat DeBisschop was Treasurer of the ECW for many years and her husband Charles served serveral terms as Senior Warden. Their daughter, Marilyn DeBisschop Serus, is the Senior Warden at the present time, the first woman to hold this position.

Rear Window - North Side

       The Rear Window of the North side wall tells the story of God's eternal promise to those who believe, "Blessed are the Dead who die in the Lord." The Bunnell, Terrill Window is a memorial window that points to the promise of Jesus' atoning death to those who truly "have faith in

       The top panel of the window features a pelican feeding her young. The Pelican is an ancient symbol for Jesus' Atonement. Legend claims that the mother pelican draws blood from her own breast in order to provide for her offspring. Likewise, It is through Christ's giving of his own blood that we too have life.

       The upper portions of the left and right panels are both symetrical in design and use of symbols. Each side features a daisy and a circle inside a trefoil with three intertwining circles, is the traditional symbol for the Trinity. The three circles represent the three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and point to the equality, unity and co-eternal nature of God's very being of one in three and three in one. The three rayed Nimbus of both the circle and the trefoil represent the divine power of God and the three persons of the Trinity.

       The lower panels are also symetrical in design while featuring a symbol of a Saint in a shield, a portion of scripture on a scroll, and finally the names of the those persons in whose memory the windows were given.

       The left panel depicts a Cross Botonnee, an open book and two pens. The Cross Botonne or budded cross, with trefoils at the end of each arm, represents a young immature Christian. The open book represent the Word of God, the Bible. Pens are an ancient symbol used for Saints
of the Church who defended the faith in writing. Taken together, these symbols stand for a fifth century Saint, Cyril of Alexandria. Cyril gave much of his life to the defense of the truth of Christ's divinity. Time and time again, he upheld the church against false doctrine in writing.

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then from my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side and my eyes shall behold, and not another."  -- Job 19:25-27

       The scripture contained on the bottom of the left panel comes from the book of Job, a lengthy story that probes the depth of faith in spite of suffering. We enter the story at the point were Job is completely isolated; his wife, family, household and friends have deserted him and his body is wasting away. Nevertheless, Job looks to the future and proclaims his faith in God, his redeemer, in the midst of great pain and suffering.

    The right panel contains an ivy covered anchor. Ivy represents eternal life because of its continual green color and fidelity because of the manner in which it clings to its support. The anchor is an ancient symbol of hope in an unstable sea or security in an insecure world. Together these symbols represent Saint Clement who was bishop of Rome in the first century. Banished and persecuted from his see, Clement was forced to work in the mines. He never gave up his zeal to convert others to Christ. Legend claims that Clement met his death, when in the midst of trying to  win converts on a ship, he was bound to an anchor and cast into the sea.

"And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." -- Mark 11:22-24

       Jesus' proclamation to "have faith in God" comes on the heels of the story of the withered fig tree. The disciples were amazed at Jesus' power; he cursed and the fig tree withered in their very sight. Jesus redirects their astonishment and points to the source of his power - God.  Jesus reminds his disciples and us, that if we truly believe - with God anything is possible.

       Overall, the message of the window is one of faith - specifically faith in God. Even though at times life may seem difficult; even though we may suffer like Job; even though there still are people in this world who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ; even though some people are yet to be converted, we "know that our redeemer lives" and we must still have faith in God through the one who gave his blood for us, Jesus Christ.

Ruth Wooster Terrell
     The daughter of Joseph and Hannah Wooster, she was born in 1754, one of 16 children and lived on Good Hill. She died in 1840, On Dec. 9,1801 she married Phineas Terrell of Bethany. She was 47 years old and he was 53 years old. Phineas died in 1822 and in the year after his death she gave the first piece of land to St. Peter's Church. It consisted of 19 acres and today would cover most of Dutton Road and include the land on Oxford Road just below the present Rectory. In 1828 Ruth gave another 22 acres to the Church. Both Ruth and Phineas are buried in St. Peter's Cemetery.

Reuben Bunnell
     Reuben was bom Dec 25, 1765 in Derby and died Feb. 2, 1853 in Oxford, aged 87 years. His name first appears in the church records on April 21, 1788 when it was voted he be made "corrister". In 1812 he was made clerk, and in 1817 he was made Treasurer. He served as Warden for 35 years.In 1811 he was on the committee to dismiss the clergyman and find a new one. Reuben married Sarah Sackett, who died on Sept. 6, 1851, aged 84, in Oxford. Both are buried in St. Peter's Cemetery.


The East wall of St. Peter's balcony houses two smaller matching stained glass windows/  Each window has a symbol of victory in its center.
       Both windows employ repeated use of two triangles and four circles. One triangle frames the entire window and the other serves to hold together a pattern of four circles. The triangles and circles are traditional symbols representing the Trinity and the eternality of God respectively. Together these symbols express an eternality in their continuous form and an indivisibility in their interweaving. God is circular or eternal and known as Father. Son and Holy Spirit. Take away any one side of the triangles or any one of the circles and the design would be out of balance, most assuredly as our understanding of God would be out of balance without the Holy Trinity or the eternality of God.

      The three outer circles each contain ornamental grapes on a vine which signifies the sacrament of Holy Communion, Christ's body and blood. The entire design makes wide use of the color gold which signifies purity and holiness of life. The window is framed in rich and deep hues of a red and blue. Red is the traditional color for martyred saints, love, hate and sovereign power. Blue is the traditional color for heavenly love and the unveiling of truth.

"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the  world!" -- John 1:29

        Having baptized Christ, John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the Agnus Dei or The Lamb of God is depicted  with the Banner of Victory in Southeast balcony window.  This symbol of God the Son is depicted as a white lamb  with gold nimbus and a red cross upon a white banner supported by a silver staff with a gold cross at the top, all on a  blue field.

     The symbolism goes back to Isaiah 53:7, "like a lamb that is led to the slaughter," where the lamb was sacrifi cially slain for the sins of the Jewish people. In Christian tradition the lamb stands for the sacrifical nature of Jesus'  life and ministry, as well as his sacrifice upon the cross.

        The standing lamb bearing the cross-emblazoned banner of victory signifies the Resurrection, Christ's victory over death. "At the Lamb's high feast we sing," an Easter hymn emphasizes the origin of this symbol in the paschal lamb. Two lines in the original English version read: "Now thy banner thou dost wave, Vanquished Satan and the grave."

        The center symbol of the window located on the liturgical north side of the balcony is the well-known Cross  and Crown combination often used for church school awards. The cross is a familiar symbol for Christ because  it is the instrument of his death. It is also a symbol of Christianity. Theologically, it stands for the salvation, redemption and atonement provided for us in Christ's death.

        Crowns have been used to denote sovereignity and kingship, or in other cases, as wreaths to denote victory from ancient times. The idea that Jesus Christ received his crown of victory when he ascended has made this Cross and Crown symbol popular for both Easter and the Ascension. Together the Cross and Crown symbolize both the kingship of Jesus and his victory over death. Victory also belongs to us; it is the reward of the faithful. Those who believe in the crucified Savior will also be victorious and receive the crown of life.

"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give  the crown of life." --Revelation 2:10

       Thus our journey ends. The tour of St. Peter's historic stained glass windows ends with the promise of victory that is Christ's and that it ours who believe in Christ Jesus.

Front Windows

Front windows, one of a matched pair -- one on either side of front door to the sanctuary,

Index to Scriptures

Old Testament:
New Testament: