Where is the steeple?
Disclaimer: The following post is an attempt to share some thoughts about how spaces are being used by churches around the world. It is not intended to convey any specific information about the All Saints property/building search. Enjoy.
"In an era of globalisation and migration in which religion is the subject of complicated political debates and the focus of many conflicts, it is often forgotten how religious beliefs offer a sense of community and support for those experiencing the displacement of urban existence. Spero’s work acknowledges that the divine may exist in the most unlikely places and testifies to our enduring need to seek out a state of grace."
What does a church look like? If you’ve attended All Saints in the last few years, your answer may be that a church looks like a gym. In fact, Christians are gathering in similar non-traditional church spaces around the world.
Photographer David Spero’s book Churches
provides glimpses of dozens of these buildings. The buildings captured
by Spero were “never designed to be churches….Often temporary,
semi-permanent or unconsecrated, they are sometimes anonymous and
almost invisible. They are located where we least expect to find them,
in industrial estates, shopping parades, houses, garages, cinemas,
above pubs and commercial properties.”
In Japan, Tadao Ando built a church. Austere and empty, his Church of the Light
seems to stand in sharp contrast to the churches Spero photographed. One almost gets
the idea that it would be best experienced alone. And yet, Ando has
told an interviewer that “the best time to see this place is when
people are here singing hymns.”
Through these works, both Spero and Ando acknowledge that when it
comes to churches, steeples may be negotiable, but people are not.