Major Robert F. Sneyd, Chaplain in the Canadian Army

By Barry Kentner

In the East End of Toronto, Ontario, there is a church with a special window.  It is comprised of shards of glass, gathered from ninety-one cathedrals, churches, synagogues and chapels in England and Europe during the second world war.  These pieces have been re-assembled into a tower with two panels, one on each side surmounted and joined by a mullion…that’s a vertical bar between panes of glass in a window. This creation is the brainchild of Major Robert F. Sneyd, C.D. D.D. and Chaplain in the Canadian Army 1939-1945.


All through the war years, Major Sneyd collected the shards of glass from the churches which had been bombed by the Germans’ and in Germany, those who fell from Canadian and British bombs.  He carefully collected, and cataloged each piece and mailed them home to Toronto.

Following the war, his dream was realized. The window was dedicated to a church service on Sunday, September 27th, 1953. The reason for the delay was due partly because the church was planning an addition, with the window set into the wall.  And then, in addition, the window itself was a prolonged work of art, created for Calvary Baptist Church by Canadian Artist Ernest Taylor.


Barry was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1935 and schooled to Grade 10, but continued educational pursuits until age 65 when he graduated from Open Word Bible College. He started working for Spitzer and Mills advertising in 1952, then moved to the Broadcast arena where for 62 years he was News Director and Talk Show Host at several Canadian Radio Stations. He was one of 5 consultants who managed to lobby for Christian Radio in Canada, and in the last five years before retirement, he was News Director of Canadian Altar.Net News, a network of 25 Christian Radio Stations across Canada from Charlottetown PEI to Campbell River BC.
Barry Kentner is a semi-retired pastor.

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