I have just had the great privilege of spending three days in Barcelona, as a celebration of Viv’s 60th birthday. It was the first time we had been there but found it very inspiring.
One of the impressive aspects of the city is the architecture, in many styles and periods of construction from Roman times to the present day. It was particularly inspiring to see how art and architecture could work together to produce powerful places full of meaning.
Many of these were inspired by faith which added to the experience. The most well known example is the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. Gaudi took over from the original architect and worked on it for 43 years till his death in 1926. It is still under construction. The East side, where the day begins with sunrise, depicts the birth and early life of Jesus. The West side, where the day ends with sunset, depicts the last days of the life of Jesus, in a very different style. The inside is awe inspiring with enormous majestic columns rising like forest trees and stained glass that dazzles depicting the resurrection and other great themes.
On a different scale was the Palace of Catalan Music, a building for music practice and performance. Impressively it was built for a local choir by contributions from the community from 1905 to 1908. It is not just for choral but for all kinds of music. A highlight of the building is an enormous central glass skylight, shaped like a rain drop to represent water and light, in the ceiling of the auditorium in Art Nouveau style.
These buildings have been inspiring as we think and pray about a new church building in Stanley. Not that we want something on an enormous scale, but that art and architecture, working together, can produce inspirational buildings; and that communities working together can achieve great things.
Rev Bill Henderson