Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sacramental Furniture

This morning's service included a presentation about the new altar, font and paschal stand that have been commissioned. The craftsman is one of our congregation, Mark, and he explained how he saw the creation of this furniture as an act of prayer. The designs are intended to reflect the architecture of the church but also to represent the Trinity and the church as interconnected supports for our community. Each piece is to include glass which should catch the sunlight (in short supply in a church with few windows) echoing the skylight above but also reminding us of the symbolism of light.

Mark always uses FSC certified wood. He intends to use oak for the tops. Unfortunately in Britain we have failed to invest in oak plantations so the only ethically sourced English oak tends to be from fallen branches, not a very practical solution. Consequently he'll be using French oak. The paler supports and arches will be either maple, sycamore or possibly ash. We fell to discussing the matter of plantations. He observed that it would be lovely to be able to use tropical woods, if only people would have the long term vision of profit to manage rainforests in a manner that made this possible. Instead all logging is forbidden or they're destroyed (mostly for the beef industry). Even in this country I know someone whose decision to give land over to an oak plantation a couple of years ago was ridiculed by those without vision.

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