Grace Church is blessed with truly beautiful stained glass windows in the Sanctuary, Parish Hall breezeway and the Edward’s Library. All are welcome to come and view when those spaces are not in use. A fine art book Windows of Grace is available detailing a tour and commentary of the windows conducted by the former rector Bill Edwards. His introduction notes appear below.
The windows of Grace Church, Asheville, are about the action of grace in our lives, as it has been given to us from the beginning, from creation to the present moment. Believe it or not, the windows really do capture that whole story. When we were working on the windows we had to pick major themes. We felt that one of the best ways to do that would be to use the church year in terms of the life of Christ. So what we see is not so much an historical story of the life of Christ as the life of Christ as seen in the church year. So as we look at the windows we, hopefully, find in them that kind of meaning.
Stained glass, of course, has a wonderful history in Christianity, especially from the medieval period. It has four very important characteristics: a source of light in dark places; a source of education; a source of mystery; and a source of color and imagination. As these windows were planned, we decided that we wanted to focus on light, because the stone walls made the church very dark, and also on the story, the history — for Christian education purposes. So often people talk about the educational value of stained glass, but to incorporate that is far from easy. The idea of putting it all into themes came from the windows of Chartres Cathedral in France where there is a unity to the story. That same unity is present here.