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Shields and Symbols

Limestone Shields in the Porch


CQS Shield – This limestone shield in the porch area of the Chapel contains the first letter of each of the three dioceses of the Episcopal Church in Illinois when the Chapel was built. CQS stands for Chicago, Quincy, and Springfield. Originally, annual funding was received to support the ministry to the students of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Gradually, that funding ebbed away. In the 1980s, The Chapel became a parish of the Diocese of Springfield, and not simply a chaplaincy to the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.



UI Shield – This limestone shield in the porch area of the Chapel stands for the University of Illinois. The Chapel is near the undergraduate library, near the main quad on campus, and sits at the corner of Wright and Armory in the heart of the UIUC campus.


Symbols in limestone in the Nave










The Cross 








Crown – A symbol of the kingship of Christ.





Dove with olive branch – This is a symbol of God’s promise after the great flood of Genesis.




The Eagle – the Symbol of the Gospel of John, our patron saint.






Fleur-de-lis – A symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary.





Keys – The represent Jesus giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven from Matthew’s gospel.





The Lion – In Christian symbolism, the lion represents Christ, the Lion of Judah.







Miter – A hat that represents the office of bishop.





A Rose and Daisy – A symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary.







Tudor Rose – Symbol of the Reformation in England.





Sailing Ship – A symbol of Christ connoting the Christ who calms the storm and sails with us across the stormy seas of life.



Painted Shields beneath the Clerestory Windows and the Christus Rex


Until the 1980s, the Chapel had a rood screen (a wooden screen dividing altar from people) with these shields, and the Christus Rex, which were preserved at its removal. Since 2008, the shields have hung beneath the clerestory windows. No known photographs of the rood screen survive.


On the physical south aisle beneath each clerestory window.



Shield of the Church Society for College Work (currently called Ministry in Higher Education).






Shield of the Diocese of Chicago





Shield of the Diocese of Springfield






Shield of the Parish The Chapel of Saint John the Divine, Champaign, Illinois – This shield was created after the Diocese of Quincy was enfolded into Chicago.






The Christus Rex at the Organ – The Christus Rex is a representation of Christ the King. The Risen Christ is clothed in garments of a priest and wears the crown of a King.





On the physical north aisle beneath each clerestory window.



Saint George’s Cross – This cross is the symbol of the Church of England. This red cross is retained in the Shield and Flag of the Episcopal Church.





Our Lady of Walsingham – Our Lady of Walsingham is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus associated with the Marian apparitions to Richeldis de Faverches, a pious English noblewoman, in 1061 in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. It became a shrine and place of pilgrimage.



The Shield of the Archbishop of Canterbury – The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual head of the World Wide Anglican Communion, and holds the title “Primus inter pares” – First among equals.





The Shield of Canterbury Cathedral