American Friends of Chartres (AFC) connects people from all walks of life for whom Chartres Cathedral is a place for reflection and inspiration. Photographers, writers, business people and artisans are among the many who generously support AFC’s mission to preserve Chartres’ medieval stained glass and sculpture for future generations.
For its inaugural project, AFC financed the restoration of the five lancets of the South Portal, at a cost of $250,000.
AFC is now raising funds to restore the Baker's Window in the nave. The Window (Bay 140) contains a rose with Christ enthroned, atop two lancets depicting St. Peter and St. James the Major. In the panels beneath them, bakers work at their timeless and symbolic tasks: shaping dough and baking bread. For the first time in history, with the approval of the French government, the restored window will travel to the United States for exhibit in a major American museum in 2016. The restoration cost is estimated at $250,000.
For the millennial celebration of Bishop Fulbert’s commitment in 1020 to build the early medieval Cathedral, AFC will contribute to the restoration of stained-glass windows in the upper clerestory of the nave. These express the universality of Notre-Dame de Chartres as a sanctuary to promote peace and understanding amongst people, and are consecrated to saints from many lands: St. Augustine (North Africa), St. Jerome (Middle East), St. Thomas Beckett (England), and St. Stephen (Hungary).
In addition, AFC promotes the vibrancy of Chartres Cathedral with cultural events and scholarships for American and French glass artists and scholars.
Americans have long been fascinated by Chartres. With 175 windows, Notre-Dame de Chartres has the largest collection of 12th and 13th century stained glass under one roof in the world, which includes the renowned Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière. In recognition of its unique value, UNESCO placed the Cathedral on its list of World Heritage monuments in 1979.
At the end of WWII, valiant Americans saved the Cathedral from destruction, among them Colonel Welborn Griffith, Steward Leonard, Gordon Gaskill, Clarke Lee and Bob Reuben. Colonel Griffith went behind German lines to determine if the sanctuary was occupied. Finding it empty, he reported back, and helped prevent the planned Allied bombing. Americans past and present who visit the Cathedral share the passion for preserving this enduring treasure.
Every year, the Cathedral welcomes millions of people from all countries and beliefs, among them almost one million Americans.
AFC is a U.S. tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization established in 2005. We work in partnership with Chartres, Sanctuaire du Monde, which raises European funds under the French law of 1901. AFC also partners with the French Ministry of Culture and its agencies. To the extent provided by law, donations to AFC are tax deductible. Gifts can be made in honor or in memory of loved ones. The names of all contributors and honorees are inscribed in the “Golden Book of Donors” which is kept open in the Cathedral.
Every donation, large or small, is greatly appreciated and goes to maintain and enhance the glory of the Cathedral.
Contributions can be made in US dollars by mailing your check to:
American Friends of Chartres
PO Box 40105
Washington, DC 20016
Online contributions may be made through PayPal on AFC’s website: