Beverly Hunt hosts Symposium Review Club
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 8:01 pm
The Symposium Review Club met recently in the lovely country home of Beverly Hunt.
Co-hosting was Barbara Jones. She served a delicious dessert of Cherry Berries on a cloud with coffee and cold drinks.
The meeting was called to order by president Alice Dunlap. The minutes were read and the roll was called by secretary Mary Elizabeth Nohsey. There were 15 members present.
The program, “Awe-inspiring Churches,” was given by Jane Huffstetler.
In recent years, Mrs. Huffstetler has visited several countries in Europe and toured a number of famous and not-so-famous churches. She said she believes they were the most magnificent, historical, well-preserved and inspiring places to see in her travels. “Churches are like holy shrines, museums, art galleries and history books all rolled into one,” she said, as she presented histories and descriptions of four churches, along with photographs she and her husband made.
This week, the eyes of the world will be on Westminster Abbey in London when Prince William takes Kate Middleton as his bride. The current church replaced a previous building of the same name and was under construction from 1245 until 1519 and was consecrated during the reign of King Richard II. Under the rule of Elizabeth I, the church became a collegiate Church of England and was no longer an actual abbey, but it is still called such by tradition.
Westminster has been the site of the coronations of British monarchs since 1066. It is the burial site of 17 kings and queens, many military and political figures, and literary notables such as Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Geoffrey Chaucer as well as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
Queen Elizabeth II was married there as well as her parents, her sister and two of her children.
Princess Diana was eulogized there in 1997 but buried elsewhere.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is built on top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in London. It is the fourth or fifth church by that name to be built on the same spot. The building previous to the existing one burned in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The new church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and constructed over a period of 35 years and five British monarchs. Its beautiful dome is patterned after that in St. Peter’s Basilica and rises to 365 feet in height. “It provides one of the best views in London if you have the energy to climb the 528 steps to get to the top,” Mrs. Huffstetler said.
The Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family) in Barcelona, Spain, is the grand design of the visionary, innovative architect, Antoni Gaudi. Construction was begun in 1882 and is hoped to be completed by 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
The church is a combination of styles from Spanish Baroque to Art Nouveau. When completed, it is to have three main facades — Nativity, Passion, Glory — to tell the story of the Gospels and the Church. It will have 18 spires (eight of which are complete), the tallest reaching 560 feet in height which will make it the tallest church in the world.
The interior is partially completed and the church was consecrated by Pope Benedict in November 2010.
St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. By Catholic tradition, it is built on the burial site of the Apostle Paul, who was executed in Rome during the reign of Emperor Nero.
The current building is the second basilica built on that spot — the first standing for 1,200 years — and was constructed over a period of 120 years, undergoing many changes of Popes as well as architects. The scandal of selling indulgences to finance the building halted construction for about 20 years until Michelangelo was essentially commanded by the Pope to complete the project. He was 70 at the time and consented against his will. He worked on the basilica almost 20 years until his death at age 89. Although the church was not completed in his lifetime, he is given credit for bringing it to the point of completion and for designing the magnificent Dome.
Published in The Messenger 4.27.11