Friday, 26 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
38, Holy Cross Church, Lichfield

Holy Cross Church, Lichfield … Joseph Potter’s design influenced Pugin’s design of Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey, Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852), the architect singularly responsible for shaping and influencing the Gothic revival in church architecture on these islands.

Friday next (2 April 2021) is Good Friday, and so my photographs this Friday morning (26 March 2021) are from Holy Cross Church, Upper Saint John Street, Lichfield.

The church was enlarged and rebuilt in 1832 by the Lichfield-born architect Joseph Potter (1756-1842) in a mixed Romanesque and Gothic style. When Pugin was in Lichfield in 1837, Potter had completed Holy Cross Church. Pugin was commissioned to add a screen and other furnishings in 1841.

Although Pugin’s additions and furnishings have long disappeared, Potter’s designs for Holy Cross, including his entrance door and his turret of Tixall stone in a mixed Romanesque and Gothic style, later influenced Pugin’s designs for Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey, his only Romanesque-style church in Co Wexford, which is my choice of church tomorrow morning.

The entrance to Potter’s turret in Holy Cross Church, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 10: 31-42 (NRSVA):

31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ 33 The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ 34 Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? 35 If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods” — and the scripture cannot be annulled — 36 can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ 39 Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. 41 Many came to him, and they were saying, ‘John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ 42 And many believed in him there.

The interior of the Church of the Holy Cross, Upper John Street, Lichfield, today … the screen and furnishings designed by Pugin in 1841 are no longer here (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (26 March 2021), prays:

Let us pray for the people of Bangladesh as they celebrate their country’s Independence Day today.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Holy Cross Church, Upper John Street, Lichfield … the door is reflected in AWN Pugin’s designs for Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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