The Church

Historic Stained Glass

jesus_lamb_of_god_glassOne of the most striking and historic features of Calvary Episcopal Church are its beautiful stained glass windows. The six lancet windows in the chancel (behind the altar) and the tri-window at the west gable were installed when the church was first built in 1864.


Since the church was built, various stained glass windows have been added to the church.

The first to be installed after the church was built was the window depicting the Crown and Cross on the south side of the nave behind the choir. It is in memory of Eliza Vaux, the wife of Chaplain William Vaux, who died on February 28, 1865 at the age of 70.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 September 2010 21:58
A Brief History of Calvary Episcopal Church

Calvary Comes to the City of the Holy Cross


Every California school child can tell of the discovery of gold in 1849, which brought not only miners, but also settlers to the “Golden State.” One of those early American settlers was an Episcopal priest – the Rev. C.F. Loop – who arrived via ox team from the Diocese of Pennsylvania to settle in Santa Clara County. In 1863, the Rev. Loop was anticipating a move to Los Angeles, when he got a different call: A small city just over the mountains, at the northern tip of Monterey Bay, was in need of a priest.


Episcopal services were relative latecomers to the religious scene in Santa Cruz. The first service was held in the courtroom in May, 1862, and only three people received the sacrament! By the time the Rev. Loop arrived in July of 1863, however, the tiny congregation had grown, and a movement was afoot to build Santa Cruz’s first Episcopal parish. On Easter Monday, 1864, a small group of Episcopalians met and declared their intent to establish a Protestant Episcopal Church in Santa Cruz under the auspices of the PECUSA and the Diocese of California. Calvary was chosen as the name of the new parish, for its close association with the meaning of Santa Cruz - “Holy Cross”.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 August 2010 15:55
Prayer Labyrinth

Come Walk With Us


We at Calvary Episcopal Church invite you to walk the labyrinth. As you walk, you may find your experience is both meditative and metaphorical; beginnings and endings, twists and turns, direction and confusion, form and pattern, youth and age are all suggested; and all within the context of the path of life which our own sense of the Divine gives us. Remember, the labyrinth is not a maze. It is unicursal. There is only one path, clear and true, and it is in no way designed to confuse the walker.


The stone labyrinth in the Calvary Church garden is the creation of Calvary Episcopal Church, upon whose ground it rests. The particular form of this labyrinth is the so called Cretan or classical labyrinth, which is believed to date from as early as the fifth century B.C., in the Mediterranean. Calvary Church has established the labyrinth in this place for the meditation and prayerful benefit of the parish, the general community of Santa Cruz, and visitors. Our hope is that the Calvary labyrinth will give its walkers a quiet location in the midst of downtown for the purpose of "practicing the presence of God."


Last Updated on Monday, 30 August 2010 15:57