Detail - The Bishops' Window

  • 1971
  • Designed by Paul Frohe of Buffalo and executed by the Tyroler Glasswerk in Innsbruck, Austria
  • Episcopal shield and flag

  • A tracery of thistle, the plant badge of Scotland, appears above and below the central figure as a reminder of the heritage of the Anglican Church of Scotland, whose Bishops consecrated the first bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Samuel Seabury, after the American Revolution.

   (online Nov 2012)

After the American Revolution, the Anglican Church in the former colonies was in a quandary: clergy in the Anglican tradition could only be ordained by bishops in apostolic succession, and Church of England Bishops could no longer ordain American clergy.

Rather than accept a temporary form of ordination without Bishops, ten Anglican clergy from Connecticut met in 1783 to find another solution. They elected one Samuel Seabury, a former missionary in New York and ironically, a Loyalist who supported the British cause, to be their bishop. Seabury travelled to England, but was refused to be consecrated by Church of England Bishops, who said that they could not consecrate a person who would not take the required oath of loyalty to the British monarchy. Undaunted, Seabury then went to Scotland.
The Scottish Episcopal Church, unlike the Church of England, was not the state church of Scotland.... 

On November 14, 1784, in the Long Acre Chapel of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, [Scotland,] Samuel Seabury was consecrated Bishop for America, the first Anglican Bishop to serve outside the British Isles, and thus laying the foundations for the worldwide Anglican [Episcopal] Communion.

[Afterwards, the English Parliament was persuaded to make provision for the ordination of foreign bishops.]