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Holy Trinity stained glass
Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral
The first Holy Trinity Church was completed in 1860, and destroyed by fire in 1865. A second sandstone church burned during the Great Fire of 1898 which destroyed most of downtown New Westminster. The current church is a reconstruction of that church using the salvaged walls and foundation.
The three stained glass windows in the apse of Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in New Westminster were the work of local craftsmen, Henry Bloomfield and Sons. Henry started the first local art glass firm in New Westminster in 1890, and moved in 1898 to West 10th Avenue and Columbia Street in Vancouver with his two sons, Charles and James.
Of the three windows, that on the left is a memorial to the late Dr. A. W. Sillitoe, the first bishop of the New Westminster Diocese. Donated by the "Free Masons of New Westminster", it contains what is perhaps the first depiction of First Nations in stained glass.
The middle window is a portrait of Christ in Majesty, and on the right (shown here) is a pentecostal scene depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles. Of no masonic significance, the Bloomfield sons gave Saint Peter, the central figure, the face of their father, Henry.
James Blomfield
James Blomfield
Photo: Archives of Ontario 10007968
Several masonic symbols can be seen in the window on the right. At the top, the triple tau of the Royal Arch degree is seen inside the Star of David. Beneath that is the Hebrew Yod He Vau He. The imagery, found in the bottom section is taken, loosely, from the Grand Lodge seal: two cherubim, evoking those on the Ark of the Covenant; two columns representing those at the entrance to King Solomon's Temple; a chequered flooring representing the sorrows and joys of our chequered existence; the letter "G" which stands for God, or Geometry, depending on who you ask; and of course the square and compasses emblem resting on an open Volume of Sacred Law.
The figure seated between the two pillars on the Grand Lodge seal is holding a scepter and orb and is supposed to represent Queen Victoria, but here the figure is holding a scroll or tablet enscribed with the figure of Euclid's 47th Proposition. The hexagram placed within the square and compasses emblem is uncommon but may be inspired by that found on the Grand Lodge seal.
None of the Bloomfields appear to have been freemasons. The son who designed the windows, James, later changed his surname to Blomfield and is principally remembered for his design of the City of Vancouver's coat of arms in 1903.
Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral
514 Carnarvon Street
New Westminster, BC
Canada V3L 1C4


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