Thanks to community donations for the church’s centennial celebration in 2014, the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Carnation received some big interior upgrades and seven all new stained glass windows.
For the 100th anniversary of the church, a centennial committee was formed to plan fundraisers and projects to fix up or improve parts of the church. One of the biggest projects they came up with was replacing the plain glass windows with stained glass art.
Tona McGuire, who was on the centennial committee, said the interior of the church looked like it was still in the ‘70s, with shaggy orange upholstery on the pews, old light fixtures and plain glass. An update to the furniture and windows made the building feel new again.
“We are a tiny little church,” she said. “We had a garage sale, we did an auction and a potluck dinner just lots of small fundraisers and were able to get together the money to do the designs and first window.”
In addition to raising money, McGuire said that the fundraisers also acted as community building events and strengthened the bonds formed at the church.
The committee commissioned Jim Perry of Perry Stained Glass Studios in Issaquah to create the first window featuring St. Anthony of Padua. Soon after, the church’s Hispanic congregation commissioned the second window to be of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After the first two windows were funded, McGuire said that people didn’t stop donating until every window was able to be replaced, even the small window up in the choir loft. The other four windows each portray part of a psalm from the Bible. They depict various scenes of creation around the Valley, including Snoqualmie Falls.
Perry said that after he designed the first two windows, he brought in Deborah Lowe, a stained glass artist in England, to design the rest of the windows.
“She’s done quite a bit of work all over England and was recommended to us by our previous artist,” he said. “How it usually works is the church committee will decide the kind of style and theme. They wanted to do psalms of the Bible and wanted it to have a Valley feel, which is why you’ve got the field and the bears. I told her (Lowe) what they had in mind and she came up with the designs.”
Perry said the designs were drawn up and sent to the St. Anthony committee so that people at the church could look at the designs and choose which designs they wanted to donate for.
McGuire said Lowe had done a lot of research on the Valley, down to the common vegetation, which she worked into some of her designs. While the whole process began in 2014, it took more than two years to finish and install all seven windows.
McGuire said the church has been very happy with the quality work done by Perry and Lowe and said that being able to beautify the space has been a gift for those who attend St. Anthony.
“It is lovely to worship in a environment so beautiful,” she said.