By JOHN SURRATT, The Vicksburg Post
Vicksburg, Miss. (AP) — Faith has been restored at Holy Trinity Church in Vicksburg.
The stained glass window of the “Faith” church has been restored and put back in its place in the church sanctuary. The restoration is part of a two-year project estimated at $350,000 that began in 2021 to restore and preserve the church’s 34 stained glass windows, some of which are over 140 years old.
“We did the north side and the west side last year and this year we started on the south side,” said church member Steve Saunders, project manager, as he observed the employees of Pearl River Glass of Jackson, which performs the restorations. install the window recently.
He said “Faith” was retired in February and taken to Pearl River to be restored.
“As soon as we have the Faith window installed, they will start cleaning those remaining windows on the south side, which includes all the windows in the baptistery area, and then we will pull three windows on the east side one at a time. time and all three will be refurbished and reinstalled,” Saunders said.
The Faith Window was donated to the church in memory of Amanda Turner Butts by her children. It was imported from Germany and installed in 1890 in the center of the south wall of the church; the second window installed on the south wall.
The figure in the window gazes and gestures skyward as she cradles a staff topped with a Celtic cross, the circle of which suggests the eternal quality of redemption.
Originally from Virginia and the widow of a doctor, Amanda Butts moved with her family from Louisiana to Vicksburg in 1859. Her youngest son Edward served as a captain in the 21st Mississippi during the Civil War and later became president of the Vicksburg Bank .
He was founder, sacristan and principal director of the Church of the Holy Trinity.
The window, Saunders said, is made up of five individual panels, which were installed one panel at a time.
“It doesn’t look like much sitting there,” he said, pointing to the panels laid neatly against the wall. “They will be beautiful once this is over.”
Saunders said the aim was to complete the remaining windows by the end of the year, adding that the next three windows “should go very quickly”, but there are two Tiffany windows that could take longer to complete. to clean. The church has six Tiffany stained glass windows, designed and built by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany who promoted a method using copper foil to make stained glass.
The church also plans to replace the lights in the baptistery with LED lights, Saunders said. This work, he said, will complete the work on the south side of the church and then move to the windows on the east side of the church.
The stained glass windows of the Church of the Holy Trinity are a point of pride for the congregation and one of the main attractions for tourists on the river boats that visit the city.
But time and weather have taken their toll on the windows, causing them to lose the shine they had in their early years.
The old panels had darkened making it difficult to see from the windows and allowing moisture and heat to build up causing mold to grow.
It was the condition of the windows that led to the restoration project and church members said the windows that have been restored and returned to the church have a brighter new look that highlights the details of the Windows.
“For me it has been real spiritual work to see clearly,” said the rector of the church, the Reverend Andy Andrews. “It’s like wearing glasses and you have dust on them and you have no idea (what you’re seeing), then you clean them and the light comes through.
“The whole window changes; beauty is amplified. That makes all the difference. It has been a great job of restoring these treasures and allowing new light to shine,” he said. “We see a new light and so we can go forward and be a new light.”
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