Church of Christ Congregational (UCC), Norfolk, CT

Battell Chapel

Battell Chapel in Norfolk, Connecticut is a gem! It has been called “one of the masterpieces of [architect J. Cleveland] Cady’s ecclesiastical work”.  Battell Chapel has served as a place of beauty, inspiration, and activity for the Church of Christ and for the Norfolk community since it was given in memory of Joseph and Sarah Battell by daughter Urania Battell Humphrey in 1888. The Tiffany Windows (pictured below), added as a gift by Ellen Battell Stoeckel in 1928, have become an important attraction for Norfolk tourism, drawing many visitors each year.If you would like to schedule a tour for yourself or for a group, please use the contact us form below and we will be in touch soon.

More information on the Battell Chapel facilities.



Stained Glass in Battell Chapel  

At the west end of the Battell Chapel, spectacular in the sunset, are three large stained glass windows, shown above. These windows were designed by D. Maitland Armstrong of opalescent glass, then a new style for window work. Armstrong had spent the past six years working alongside his good friend and fellow artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Armstrong and Tiffany, along with their colleague John Lafarge, made significant contributions to new forms of opalescent and layering techniques, including freely using large “gem” pieces of glass in designs, which creates great depth of field and a shimmering effect with the sunlight. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the stained glass work of Armstrong.
At the other end of the chapel are five smaller but beautifully designed windows by Armstrong’s more famous colleague, Louis Comfort Tiffany. These windows depict the four seasons, with the center window showing a brilliant sunrise, taking it’s theme from the “Sun of Righteousness” wording on the central Armstrong window. The two leftmost windows are “Promise” (Spring) and “Realization” (Summer), with “Fulfillment” (Autumn) and “Rest” (Winter) on the right.


The Battell Chapel Tiffany windows – photo by Christopher Little

See amazing high resolution Tiffany Window photographs by Robert Fertitta.

Chapel Windows Project

In 2015 the Tiffany Windows needed only a good cleaning and new protective glass to replace the badly weathered Lexan covering on the outside. The Armstrong windows badly needed complete restoration, including removal, disassembly and re-leading.
A special Chapel Windows Project was initiated to raise funds for restoration, repairs, and maintenance. The Norfolk community and any one interested in fine, historical stained glass was  invited to participate, with the Church of Christ family starting off the campaign in April 2016. The aim for the project was to raise a total of $300,000 in two years. The plan consists of four phases:
            Phase I           – Restore the Chapel’s center altar Armstrong window
            Phase II          – Restore the Chapel’s 2 side altar Armstrong windows
            Phase III        – Repair the Tiffany Windows and all glass in the Tiffany Room
            Phase IV         – Restore the Chapel’s 4 Armstrong side windows
            Other              – Cover all extra associated costs
By October 2016 sufficient funds had been raised to begin the work. One Tiffany window (“Sun of Righteousness”) was removed and sent to Glass Source Studio in Shelton, CT to repair a serious crack.  Later in October the Armstrong center altar window was removed and transported to the studio for total restoration.  In December the Tiffany Sunrise window was re-installed. The exterior cover for the Sunrise window was replaced with clear safety glass.
At the end of March 2017 the beautifully restored center altar window was re-installed and the exterior cover was replaced with clear glass, completing Phase I.  At that same time the south altar window was removed and taken to the studio for restoration, beginning Phase II. On August 1, 2017 the south altar window was re-installed (with clear glass exterior cover) and the north altar window was removed for restoration. On November 14, 2017 the restored north altar window was re-installed (with clear glass exterior cover), completing Phase II. In March of 2018 the four Tiffany seasons windows were cleaned and repaired, with clear safety glass exterior covers installed.  The Tiffany Room was also replastered and a replica of the original parlor fireplace was installed. In August of 2018 Phase IV began with the restoration of the southwest (portico) chapel side window. As funds have become available the northwest chapel side window has been restored in 2020.
Contact the Chapel Windows group (Marie Civco, Shelley Harms, Barry  Webber, or Nels White) with any questions, or use the “contact us” form at the bottom left of this page.
Contributions to the Windows Project are welcome. Thank you!  If you are able to make a pledge of continuing support or this project, please visit the Windows Pledge page.


Project Status Update

As of July 2020 Phase I and Phase II of the Battell Chapel Windows Project (3 chapel altar windows) have been completed, with Phase III (Tiffany Room windows) mostly done and Phase IV (4 chapel side windows) half completed. A grand total of $222,550 has been raised for the project.
The Project Team decided to make some changes starting in 2018 and 2019:
  1. In order to accommodate new and significant efforts for Church Steeple Repair, we will curtail active fund raising for the Windows Project.
Any remaining funds on hand will be used to continue Phase IV.  We will use only unsolicited donations, grants, notecard sales, tour receipts, etc.  to complete the project.  The remaining chapel side windows will be restored over time as funds become available.  They have been reexamined and do not show imminent signs of collapse.  They will continue to be monitored, with emergency repairs made if required, until all restoration can be completed.
  1. Improvements will be made to the Tiffany Room to go along with the work done on the Tiffany Windows.
These improvements include plaster repair, painting, interior window protective covers, lighting, and possibly other items. Total cost is currently estimated at under $20,000 and may not exceed the remainder of the “Other” portion funding planned for the project.


Further Background on the Windows Project

In 2009 a group of church members convened to determine the condition and maintenance needs for the stained glass windows in Battell Chapel, including the Tiffany Windows. Multiple experts presented study results and bids for needed repairs. The consensus of the study group was that the three Chapel altar windows were seriously in need of repair and that all other windows (including the Tiffany Windows) also needed some repair and maintenance. The church having just finished the three-year Dare to Dream capital campaign, the cost of $157,000 for this work in 2010 prevented the study group from coming forth with any recommended actions at that time.
Another group came together in mid 2015 to take up the cause of the Chapel Windows again. Revised costs for the stained glass work by then totaled around $240,000. A small portion of associated expense was included in the capital improvement portion of the church budget. The bulk of the funds needed for this project were raised outside the annual church operating budget. Grants have been sought and community-wide solicitations and fund-raising events have been held.  Tiffany Windows tours are promoted to attract attention to the wonderful experience available in Battell Chapel.