As I’ve mentioned previously, in the congregation I serve we will soon face the challenging and exciting prospect of developing a new worship space within our building. With the possible sale of our main sanctuary, we will shift our worship either into a church hall or into a older church sanctuary (that doesn’t look much like a sanctuary any more) that is part of our building complex.
My dad grew up worshiping in a Reformed congregation in the town of Neede, Holland. He referred me some time ago to their website, where there are pictures of their transformed sanctuary. The traditional worship space of that sanctuary has been shifted to a very modern look. It may not be everything we would like to have (it retains a very free church simplicity) but it helps to get the imagination moving…
Was reading in the Telegraph today and came across this piece about the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new medieval and resnaissance galleries. What really drew my attention was the first phograph attached to the story, which is of stained glass from Sainte-Chapelle, France (1243-8). As you can see from the picture, the windows have been mounted (it’s hard to tell how, exactly) in such a way that they appear not as windows but almost as sulptures mounted together – against a white backdrop.
In the congregation I serve, we are in the midst of an attempt to sell a portion of our property. While we are not talking about demolition of the church sanctuary, the question has sometimes arisen as to how aspects of the traditional structure might be preserved in a new context. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s presentation of these medieval windows offers a striking example, it seems to me, of how traditional pieces could be incorporated into a more modern worship space and structure. If not in the case of the congregation I serve, perhaps in other contexts where similar questions arise.