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What goes on inside?

Years ago I remember sitting in the congregation at a student mission hearing the speaker explaining the necessity of faith to salvation. He talked about how you just had to take certain things on trust, and how other things would only make sense after ‘making the leap’ to faith.  He was right, of course, but somehow he just wasn’t capturing it for me.

A couple of years later, when I  found myself ‘on the other side of the pulpit’, so to speak, I was casting round for a means to explain exactly that same truth. The previous occupants of our house had left behind them a roll of stained-glass cellophane – presumably an old Christmas decoration. Many times since then I have used it as an illustration of faith – noting how a stained glass window looks like nothing from the outside of an unlit church, but it is only when you go inside and see the light streaming through that it is transformed. The step of faith, in through the church door, makes all the difference.

Just a few moments ago Kore.UK drew my attention to American artist Tom Fruin’s installation, Kolonihavehus,  outside the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. Isn’t it wonderful?


Apart from its startling beauty, two things strike me about the picture. The first is that the light is being generated inside the house. I wonder whether the same could be said of the church? The second is that in the photo above the church in the background is completely eclipsed by Fruin’s little house. It looks dull, angular, and somewhat intimidating by comparison.


Richard Littledale

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