St. Andrew’s Church History
A historically registered Victorian church set in downtown Stamford, Saint Andrew's was consecrated on May 8, 1861. Originally a mission of St. John's Church Stamford until its incorporation as a parish on June 12, 1865, Saint Andrew's was the first free church in the diocese under one rector: parishioners did not have to pay a pew rental fee.
Constructed from grey stone and originally designed by Browne and Rogers, a New York architectural firm, the church was enlarged in 1881 using plans in the Gothic style by the architect H. Hudson Holly, extending the front of the building, as well as adding a new chancel, parish hall, and a cloister that contains the sacristy and parish office. The bell tower that provides the formal entrance was added in 1930. The signature red doors adorned with gilded wooden fish represent the church's patron Saint Andrew the Apostle who was a fisherman.
The church's interior is beautifully appointed. Designed by H. J. Hardenbergh, the altar, reredos and rood screen are redolent with symbolism. The Greek letters Alpha and Omega (Christ, the beginning and the end) adorn the base of the high altar. The tabernacle is emblazoned with a fine relief of the chalice and host. Above it is the large central portion of the reredos depicting the Risen Christ, which is flanked by panels in relief of a pelican of piety feeding her young and a lamb. The structure is topped with four sculpted angels. The ornate iron rood screen at the entrance to the choir was installed in 1910 as a memorial to the parish's first rector, The Rev'd Francis Windsor Braithwaite. The floor is patterned with fleur de lys and grape vine motifs: a rich mosaic in ivory-toned, burnt sienna and black tiles. Mirroring that imagery, a grape vine stencil adorns the ceiling panels of the choir and nave. The golden oak pews are original to the parish.
The English stained glass windows throughout the nave are among the finest in Stamford. They depict Christ's Ascension, the Epiphany, the child Jesus teaching in the Temple, the wedding at Cana of Galilee, the healing of Jairus's daughter and Christ blessing the children. The windows in the west end of the nave depict the corporal works of mercy.