The Baxter Window

The Baxter window was installed between Monday, 15th and Thursday 18th September 2003.  It was designed by Petri Anderson of Chapel Studio and commemorates William Baxter (1877-1973) and his wife Ethel (1883-1963) both of whom were devoted members of Gordon Chapel.  The window represents Christ and the Fishermen as well as the countryside around and wildlife of Fochabers.  As the Reverend Canon Wiffin pointed out the Sunday after the installation of the window this reminds us that Christ can be found in all places and all ages.

To understand the symbolism of the window it is best to quote directly from Gordon Baxter, the elder son of William and Ethel.

“My brother, Ian, and I wished to commemorate our parents who did so much to preserve Gordon Chapel as a sacred place.  Around 1948, two entrepreneurs made an offer to purchase the building for conversion to a cinema for the village of Fochabers.  My mother heard that the local factor might be persuaded to dispose of the building and she intervened with her usual determination and vigour.  The small Gordon Chapel congregation, then numbering less than 10, supported her.  The help of Canon Clarence A.E. Wolfe of Aberlour Orphanage, was sought by my father….and the entrepreneurs were eventually repelled!

I agreed with Petri Anderson of Chapel Studios that he would design a window in harmony and, indeed, to complement the splendid Burne-Jones windows provided in earlier years by the ducal family for Gordon Chapel.  The theme of Christ and the Fishermen seemed appropriate.  We got the necessary approval to proceed.

Osprey, squirrel, grouse, pheasant and Spey salmon were to become integral subjects of this special commission.  To this end, Petri and I spent a whole day touring Fochabers and its environs – the Spey at the Earth Pillars above the Aultdearg Burn, we thought, would provide the perfect backdrop.  My family and I are, of course, delighted with the final outcome and this seems to be pretty widely shared among local folk”

GORDON BAXTER, September 2003

Indeed it is and the Baxter Window is a wonderful addition to Gordon Chapel’s world-famous stained glass.