Wednesday – The Art in our churches – the Architecture of our Churches

All the churches in our Team have stained, coloured glass – some more than others. Have you stopped to look at what they depict?

Most recently St Andrew’s commissioned a window depicting the fisherman, St Andrew, and there is a goodly catch of fish. Above the cross and the patterns suggest the mast, sails and wind from the boat, but are also a reminder that we are called, like Andrew to follow the way of Jesus and the Cross.

As our churches re-open have a look at the pictures and the images in the stained glass in our churches.

The architecture of our churches also should help us worship and pray.

Our eyes are drawn forwards (to Communion Table, Cross and Bible.

The Communion Rail is a place where all are equal before God.

Our eyes are drawn up, even our newer buildings have height reminding us that we are God’s creatures.

In so many ways – and over so many years – people have beautified our churches – silver Communion vessels – beautifully made frontals for the Communion Table.

And there are memorials and things given in bequest. They remind us that we are part of the Communion of Saints, part of God’s people through time, remembering those who have worshipped before us and – I hope – praying for those who will come after us.

And a church should be a practical place, where we gather and from where we are sent out. We want pictures by the children; space for tea and coffee, space to gather is important. A church is not a showcase of the past but should be a living used, breathing building.

So our eyes should be drawn forwards and up, but they should also look around at the ordinary things, and at each other (for we are the church – the building just houses us!), and we should crucially look out and know that the church buildings are set in their communities and are there for the communities and an open door is as important as the lectern, the Communion Table and the seats where we gather.

Thank God for our church buildings and let them help you find new ways to pray.