Save the Tiffany Ornamental Windows for the Next 100 Years
Church of the Covenant has one of the largest collections of Tiffany stained glass in the world, with 20 figure windows that tell stories of hope and liberation and 22 ornamental windows that decorate the clerestory (upper level). The ornamental windows are made of Tiffany’s opalescent glass—that special translucent opal-like glass with varied colors and textures, swirls and streaks in a single sheet of glass that create multifaceted luminous effects of “painting in glass”.
The Renew the Light Campaign
The clerestory windows are in grave danger—with cracked and broken glass. Their restoration is critical for us all, including the more than 18,000 visitors a year who experience the beauty and peace of the space in our Open Sanctuary program. The goal of our Renew the Light Campaign is to preserve these windows for everyone who enters the sanctuary, now and into the future.
We are one of 16 churches out of more than 150 applicants to receive a national grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places (NFSP), a program of Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Through their generosity, we will receive fundraising training and a $250,000 matching grant to conserve the Tiffany ornamental windows.
Our Campaign aims to Renew the Light:
Save the Tiffany Ornamental Windows
- for their cultural significance, exemplifying
Tiffany’s love of nature, color and beauty.
- as a symbol of the Church’s deep commitment
to Climate Care and Climate Justice.
How much do we need to raise?
- $500,000 is needed to receive the $250,000 grant from NFSP
- $50,000 (a tithe of 10% of each pledge) to support the creation of an art installation for the interior of the sanctuary that encompasses a wider view of God’s beloved community beyond the sanctuary’s current inadequate Eurocentric focus. More details to come.
Who else besides the congregation are we soliciting from?
We will reach out to the wide diaspora of the congregation as well as foundations, individual donors from outside of the church, and the broader Boston community who care about our mission and historic preservation.
Why can't we take these windows out and replace them with something less expensive?
Our National Historic Landmark status requires that we maintain the historic integrity of the interior of the sanctuary. We received this prestigious designation because of the integrity and unity of the Tiffany interior and the clerestory windows that are integral to the design. The Landmark status protects the beauty of the interior and gives us important and unique opportunities for funding in the future.
The Church and its History
For more than 180 years, the Church of the Covenant community has been inspired by the dedication and bold imagination of its people. Our history of social justice ministry dates to the church’s abolitionist activities in the 1800s and has continued through the years, helping to launch: Casa Myrna Vasquez, one of the first shelters for victims of domestic violence in the nation; the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra; the Back Bay Chorale, with its unique musical outreach program for recently-arrived immigrants; the Kindling Collective, an innovative arts project with Boston area college students; and the Climate Jubilee Project, the sacred movement of liberation for racial and eco-justice. Now, more than ever, we are aware of the sharp contrast between the affluence around us and our church community that includes the homeless who sleep on our steps and come to the Women’s Lunch Place day shelter & our church-run food pantry – both located in our church fellowship hall. While small in number, our congregation is very determined and deeply committed to raising funds for upkeep of our extraordinary edifice. We see the building as a resource to address critical social justice needs, and we consider stewardship of the building for future generations and our wider city as an essential part of our mission.
What can you do to Save the Tiffany Ornamental Windows?
- Donate generously! Every dollar will help us save these precious cultural treasures.
- Give as a one-time donation or consider a campaign pledge to be given over a 2-3 year period.
You can pledge or donate below:
Via this simple and direct link:
You may make a one-time donation without creating a profile or set-up a recurring donation by creating a profile.
Via USPS mail:
Church of the Covenant
67 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116
Attn: Nancy Stockford, Financial Secretary
For: Renew the Light
If you would like to learn more about this National Historic Landmark space, check out this detailed section of our website.