Parishioners of the former St. George’s Anglican Church in the west side of Saint John are pleading with the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton to help them buy back a prized stained glass window that was once a key historical feature of the building.
“We were a diocesan church and I feel like they should take some responsibility for what happened,” said Arlene Trask, a former member of the dissolved parish.
“Protection should have been given to the meaningful things in the church.”
The church’s one-of-a-kind window, known as the “Pathfinder,” depicted Jesus and a Boy Scout. It was copied widely across England and the world and was authenticated by the original British war painter Ernest Stafford Carlos’s family.
Problems with heritage designation
Parishoners fought for two years to save the church but it was sold in 2015. The new owner opened a restaurant and sold many of the items in the building, including the stained glass, to a religious artifacts dealer.
Now the building is for sale again and, coincidentally, so is the glass.
Up for sale again
Now the window, which one former parishioner and amateur historian says could sell for as much as $50,000, has appeared on the website for D.C. Riggott, Inc., a Minnesota company specializing in antique traditional church artifacts.
“D.C. Riggott Inc., [our company] is the one that purchased and acquired ‘The Pathfinder’ stained glass window during our trip to (Saint John), New Brunswick this year, along with many other architectural and Ecclesiastical artifacts,” Joshua Tollefson, sales manager for the company, said via email.
“Pathfinder Window is a mix between a historical collectors item as well as a church…