Sunday, April 19, 2009

SundayStills - religion

The vines have been around this bell tower a very long time, by the looks of them. Actually, most of the chapel is covered in them. (click on photos to embiggen)

The John Bell Memorial Chapel at Appleby College.

It took 7 years to build this Anglican chapel and was finally dedicated in 1929

There are so many beautiful temples, churches and mosques in every style imaginable - from simple, to elegant, to ornate, to ostentacious.

I come from a tradition of the plain church which has made it difficult for me to relate to the grand, excessively ornate style of cathedrals or large churches as a place of worship. The history and architecture may be fascinating and jaw-dropping, but as a place of commune or a spiritual base, for me, some intimacy is lacking within.

Or maybe I just need fewer distractions. Our church had coloured glass panes, which pleased me no end as a child. Until I experienced stained glass gothic windows. Now, there was a distraction.

An example of a modern stained glass window on right


with a more traditional one below it

In 2004, the chapel commissioned the first ever
Inuit designed stained glass window by Kenojuak Ashevak.







for more photo takes on this theme see SundayStills


42 comments:

  1. Nice church. I love the old bell tower. I prefer ancient churches, as I am a medievalist. And I do like the look of more ornamented Catholic churches, but I guess it is because of my cultural background.

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  2. I'm not a Catholic, but I do love their old churches and cathedrals. I am quite in awe when I am inside of them and I love all the ornamentations. Especially the stained glass windows. I am not a religious person, but could be when in a cathedral. The Gothic style is quite impressive.

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  3. Beautiful stained glass in the chapel. I love the Inuit design. Colleges sometimes have the prettiest chapels. I went to a wedding in the Heinz Chapel on the University of Pittsburgh campus and it was lovely and historical. The only problem was it was July 28 and there was no air conditioning. I thought the poor bride was going to pass out. And there is such a high demand for its usage for weddings that the wedding party is allotted 2 hours and 2 hours only. The next wedding was waiting on the sidewalk when we came out of the church. Kinda gives it that Las Vegas feel.

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  4. I'm used to the ornateness of the Anglican/Episcopal churches, but I have mised feelings bout them. In the end, I've decided what feels most sacred to me is being outdoors.

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  5. Very cool, love the Inuit stained glass and the bell tower.

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  6. I think we should definitely have vines climbing around our villa and at least one stained-glass window to refract the light in our front foyer.

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  7. What a beautiful church, I love the vines on the bell tower.

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  8. Very good photos, I like the bell and the stained glass. Nice job.

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  9. A very lovely bell tower and interesting stained glass.

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  10. Really nice shots. Our little country churches here do not have stained glass windows, and I really miss them.

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  11. The stained glass is lovely, quite different from anything I've seen before...that I remember anyway.

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  12. Fantastic shots....the windows are amazing!! :)

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  13. Great shots. Love the ivy covered ones!! I adore old churches. I really like the owl stained glass.


    Mine is up over at the photo blog.

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  14. Do the vines leaf or flower during the spring? I also liked the inuit stained glass!

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  15. Wow, the first and the last shots are just wonderful! I really like the glass!

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  16. Great collection of images, lovely glass windows~

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  17. I love the old churches with all their character. Nice shots, all of them.

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  18. I imagine they would be stunning from the inside on a sunny day!

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  19. Nice. Love the vine covered tower.

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  20. Wonderful photos, I like old churches and we don't seem to have enough of them here!! When driving anywhere I play "Guess the denomination" games with the kids and we have to guess if the church is catholic, protestant or whatever other flavour!!

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  21. Guillaume: perhaps we are most comfortable with the familiar

    Irene: and the high, high ceilings!

    Susan: that is a problem with being too pretty

    Citizen: yeah, I feel sometimes, that it is wasteful

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  22. Ed: I didn't even know about the Kenojuak stained glass until I was photographing every aspect of this chapel

    XUP: oh yes, and maybe a tower (though not necessarily with a bell) maybe we could find a converted church?

    Mari: those vines are impressively strong looking

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  23. Regular Guy: thank you

    Shirley: I like that there is such a variety in the windows

    EG: yes, it is different to me as well

    Andrea: I just wish I got inside

    Sherri: thank you

    Flo: I'll go back to get more pictures when the ivy (or whatever that vine is) is green

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  24. J9: I don't know - but I will check later and post photos

    Jen Mo: those are my faves as well

    Marie: thank you - notice how much bigger the glass pieces become in the modern stained glass windows?

    Prairierunner: thanks, and this one isn't even all that old

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  25. Holly and Char: the details are important!

    Scott: and it was a bright, sunny day

    Pete: I could hardly believe the size of those vines - you don't see that from the road!

    Amanda: that sounds fun and instructive!

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  26. Dibear: oops, I missed you - the stained glass is a lovely tradition, isn't it?

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  27. The church itself is quite lovely, as are your photos. I especially enjoy the way that nature has blended the church's exterior.

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  28. One Red Horse: an intertwining of 'manmade' and nature

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  29. Oh they are all great photos! Those are some awesome vines on the bell tower..some are really large vines..almost like tree limbs..:)

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  30. You probably read this on my blog, but the first Catholic church I ever entered was the great one in the Dominican Republic so I thought all Catholic churches were that fancy. The first time I went into a regular U.S. Catholic church I was, "Where's all the stuff?" I like fancy churches and plan to finally check out the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square in New Orleans this October.

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  31. Cool pics! Love the bell tower.

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  32. Patches: thank you

    CTG Ponies: it is impressive, isn't it

    Fifty: kinda makes it look like a treehouse

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  33. Geewits: I do like to visit cathedrals, I just cannot imagine worshipping in one - I feel like a gawker.

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  34. Beautiful, beautiful!

    Have just happened upon your blog for the first time (from Naomi's), and am so enjoying all your photos.

    I am an Anglican convert, also from a "plain" tradition, and I must admit that part of that was the appeal of the sheer beauty of many parts of this way of worship -- the liturgy, the music, and yes, even the architecture. Those Gothic curves are lovely.

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  35. Edelweiss: welcome! I was at a Catholic funeral mass a few months ago and was so moved by the beauty of the whole thing (even though I barely remember any mass I've been to before) that I almost wished I lived nearer to attend once in awhile.

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  36. stained glass windows -a real and beautiful art. Also, I love the gothic architectural style!

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  37. Looks like the vines were trying to swallow the church whole! hehe

    The windows are just stunning. Great photos all!

    ~Lisa

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  38. Jeannette: I have thought, if I ever took up an art project (that I seriously thought I might be good at!) it would be stained glass. Still thinking.

    Lisa: I saw the vines as choking rather than supporting. Thanks.

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