Let the sun shine in…

The sunlight streams through the window illuminating a stained glass scene of the great Yukon skies. That’s the view from inside Christ Church…

The sunlight streams through the window illuminating a stained glass scene of the great Yukon skies.

That’s the view from inside Christ Church Cathedral.

From the outside all that can be seen are dusty panels of glass.

The stained glass is barely visible due to the aging and clouding over of acrylic windowpanes meant to protect the stained glass window from the elements.

It is going to cost the Elliot Street cathedral $1,000 to replace the acrylic panels and restore the window.

“The window is an asset to the community and it’s in embarrassing condition,” said Pat Ellis, a parish member who is spearheading the fundraising efforts.

“I think the parish is really fond of the window,” said Ellis.

“I’ve been to a lot of churches that are so bright with fluorescent lights, I think there’s something about this little cathedral that is lit by stained glass windows.

“It’s very spiritual.”

In an effort to raise money to fix the window, the church held a Whitehorse String Ensemble concert and tea on Palm Sunday.

It made about $200 from concert tickets and is now auctioning off a Joan Shaxon watercolour painting.

There has been a $175 bid, so far.

The church is about $600 short of its goal.

The former Yukon artist, Ted Harrison, designed the window.

It depicts the wild Yukon skies with Dr. Hilda Hellaby walking in the snow below.

“The design was to honour Dr. Hilda Hellaby who became a missionary in Vancouver and worked amongst the Chinese people there,” Ellis said.

Hellaby became the first woman student in the Anglican Theological College and graduated in 1930.

“She never expected ordination as it was unheard of at that time for a woman to be ordained,” Ellis said.

Hellaby travelled to Dawson City in 1951 and then to Mayo. Later, she ended up in Whitehorse.

She was active in prison ministry and visited Yukoners in federal institutions outside the territory.

“Her philosophy for over 60 years was, ‘When in doubt take the losing side; the winners don’t need you, they’re doing OK,’” said Ellis.

In 1964, Hellaby became the first woman ever to have received an honorary PhD in divinity.

She died on December 16, 1983 at the age of 85.

Ellis hopes to have the restoration of the window completed by July.

“Tourists are always taking pictures of the window,” she said.

“The public are invited to make donations to this worthy project — a nice gift to God for Easter.”

Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at the cathedral and receipts will be issued for tax deductions.

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