Friday, March 23, 2012

St Andrews Opening with Archbishop Rowan

Last night to our local church (where C and I both worshipped for many years and served as Churchwardens) for the official opening of their redevelopment by Archbishop Rowan.  Although somewhat unprepossessing from the outside it is very striking inside: they have kept the late Victorian interior of the front of the church but turned the "brutalist" 1970s interior church hall into flats and office/community space, including a new centre for IntoUniversity.

Rowan was on brilliant form, beginning by saying that he was pleased to be described as "the outgoing ABoC - I thought I was rather shy." Other gems included:
  • A Church should be like the Tardis, always bigger on the inside than the outside.
  • We can't see the wind but we can see how it shapes the world.
  • Satan fell by the force of gravity (GKC) we must not take ourselves too seriously, we need to be held aloft by the Spirit, like a kite.
  • Open to the endless possibilities of the love that made the heavens and moves the stars.
He dedicated a rather striking "kite" sculpture which as the artist explained is both a depiction of the  crucifixion and the resurrection - and which as Rowan noticed can also be seen as suggesting the Dove Descending.

The CEO of IntoUniversity also made a short speech pointing out that their work started in a CofE Church and all their centres so far are in partnership with Churches.  We also had Baroness Eaton (who gave a short and moving speech) the Mayor of Hammersmith, and other local dignitaries, with the Villiers Quartet and the Choir providing the music.
Saw many old friends - a very good occasion.

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