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Wednesday, 29 August 2018

St Martin-in-the-Fields & HeartEdge at Greenbelt


The HeartEdge panels at Greenbelt were very well attended, with more coming than could be accommodated within the tent. HeartEdge was in Exchange, Greenbelt’s venue for thinking about business, and how we can make enterprise work better for the common good. Exchange was supported by Midcounties Co-op, Co-op Energy, Phone Co-op, Anthony Collins Solicitors, Co-operatives UK and by New Internationalist magazine. Our thanks to all of them for their organisation and welcome.

Each session provided plenty of ideas, stories and challenges for those attending from the material our stellar selection of panellists prepared and the responses they gave on the day. We had lots of useful conversations with people afterwards interested in HeartEdge and the mission models and theological ideas we are sharing. A good number of HeartEdge members were also present renewing their inspiration and appreciating the experiences and ideas you shared. In the sessions themselves people commented positively on the energy of our panellists, as well as the energy of the dialogue within the panels and with the audience.

In the first panel on re-imagining church and culture, artist Jonathan Kearney argued that art markets and education have been hijacked by capitalism and managerialism squashing imagination. He suggested that gift, generosity and care for culture were all necessary for a cultural renaissance. Giles Goddard of St John's Waterloo spoke about the Waterloo Festival which is part of that church's engagement with their wider community and which speaks of love, hope and transformation. He argued that capitalism has appropriated culture, so it is important for the church to be engaged with delight and light.

Andrew Earis spoke about preparing a BBC service on the Manchester bombing including the importance of using a diversity of local people as well as diverse music. He aims to open hearts and minds to a broad range of music and says that music in concerts and services are all church. Yoghurt, salt and ointment were all used by Anna Sikorska as visual aids to talk about art and culture. Church can be a part of a cultural renaissance, she said, but needs partners as involvement can't be done alone. The church may sometimes be on the edge of the cultural renaissance, but conversations of re-imaging culture may best happen with other partners on the edge. She showed a Stations of the Cross tea towel designed with homeless people at St James Piccadilly as an example of engaging broadly.

Cliff Mills of Anthony Collins Solicitors began the second panel session on re-imagining church and commerce by stating that commerce is not secondary to Church, but is a valid expression of mission. In this session we heard from Ruth Amos who spoke about faith in the business world from an entrepreneur’s point of view. Faith is sustaining in challenging times. Faith within the work-place in a manufacturing sector is expressed in dealing with colleagues, dealers, suppliers, and other third parties. David Alcock of Anthony Collins Solicitors shared the journey of that law firm which is committed to values and has a social purpose. He spoke about faith in the context of: interacting with colleagues and clients; areas of work to focus on or get out of; and strategic direction and planning. Rob Wardle of Cre8 spoke from his own experience, at a micro level, about how ‘work’ within and for church or charity seems like a natural thing for him to do. He spoke about drawing inspiration from the old monastic tradition where the work of our hands is understood to be sacred and described why Cre8’s principles seem to appeal to entrepreneurs.

Mark Kinder shared experience from 11 years of running a church (St Paul's Walsall) which has within it shops, coffee shops, charity offices etc. in a context of significant deprivation (within 3% most deprived parishes). His key points: included addressing misunderstanding/suspicion of commerce as somehow dirty which reflects a Gnosticism within modern Christian thinking; re-imagining commerce as part of Kingdom of God - human flourishing, work as creation gift, etc. to give examples of how jobs and training have been created; re-imagining sustainability for a church in an Urban Priority Area - developing property income to diversify and addressing the shortage of housing in Walsall; re-imagining commerce itself in a way that recreates the relationship between customer and provider which modern commerce has removed.

Sam Wells offered three models of church and commerce and reflected on how to work out which is the best fit for what your congregation is and needs:
  1. Instrumental. Undertake a legitimate trading activity that has no direct social impact, make a profit, and then transfer that profit to other activities that do have direct social impact, whether simply the sustainability of the congregation and its building, or such mission projects as it pursues.
  2. Exemplary. Undertake a trading activity that has no direct social impact, but seek to do so in an exemplary way, paying good wages, having a minimal environmental footprint, using locally generated resources, promoting fair trade practices, and so on, while still transferring profit to the activities mentioned under (1) above.
  3. Social. Undertake a trading activity whose profit return is evidently secondary to the indirect social impact sought.
In the third panel session on re-imagining church and congregation Wale Hudson-Roberts began by suggesting that understanding inclusivity presents those that currently have power and prestige within churches with the challenge of relinquishing that power, in order to give place to those who are less powerful or on the edge. Simon Woodman said that his church, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church had come to an understanding that to realise that it mattered deeply that ‘everyone’ belongs because everyone absolutely belongs with God, was an old insight newly found. This commitment to inclusion is the beginning and not the end of a journey of belonging.

Philippa Boardman argued that ‘Buildings building community’ and ‘Being a parish for the whole parish’ are keynotes in renewal. Church becomes a place in which bridges are built within the community as people are brought together for the common good. Rosemarie Mallett said that church is not just for those in the pews, but for all those around. Her church, St John’s Angell Town, is a black congregation in a Victorian church building in the middle of four brutalist-style estates. The major asset for churches and communities are their young people. 

In the final panel session on re-imaging church and compassion there was critique of housing policies including the lack of genuinely affordable house, the rhetoric of the 'undeserving poor' and of Brexit. Al Barrett said that he is interested in forming a neighbourhood where generosity is practised. Richard Frazer of Greyfriars Kirk spoke of the need to protect those on the fringe of church from those at the centre.

Pam Orchard of The Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields shared her thoughts in a letter to a 'stranger' on how we can work together to provide compassion. It gives me a real sense of achievement to see you helping other clients with art projects, she wrote, noting that no one has a monopoly on experience and saying that together we make a great team. Anthony Reddie spoke about the dangers of contractual compassion and the respectability politics that often seem embedded into Mission Christianity. 

Sam Wells also spoke on the theme of 'Who is my Neighbour?', saying that we become human beings by encountering those who are other and that this is an adventure for us.

The beautiful setting of the Colonnades at Boughton Hall provided a perfect setting for the choral music of St Martin's Voices in Great Sacred Music sessions on prayer and love led by Sam Wells and Andrew Earis. St Martin's Voices also sang at a service in Shelter that I led with Andrew Earis entitled 'Tell out my Soul!' exploring the inspiration of hymnwriters and the theology of some of the most popular hymns as included in the Songs of Praise Top 100 Hymns.


St Martin's Voices - I Stood On The River Of Jordan.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Greenbelt Festival: St Martin-in-the-Fields & HeartEdge

Greenbelt Festival (24 – 27 August):

A whole group of HeartEdge members are taking part with HeartEdge at Greenbelt. We’re at the festival all weekend hosting sessions in Exchange and sharing ideas in Treehouse. Want to meet up and talk more? Meet 12.45pm on Saturday in the Exchange, or find us in the Jesus Arms each night.

Friday 5.30pm: The Colonnades

GREAT SACRED MUSIC: St Martin’s Voices with their Director of Music Andrew Earis and the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Revd Dr Sam Wells, explore through word and song some of the great music of our religious heritage.

Friday 8pm: Exchange

RE-IMAGINING CHURCH AND CULTURE: With Andrew EarisJonathan KearneyGiles Goddard and Anna Sikorska. How can the church be part of a cultural renaissance with art, music and ideas – re-imagining the Christian narrative for the present moment? Chaired by Sam Wells.

Saturday 10.45am: Treehouse

What should Christ’s injunction to ‘love your neighbour’ mean in practice today? Sam Wells explores this question and considers its bearing on the politics of poverty, discrimination, immigration, ecology and the fallout from recent political upheavals in Europe and America.
Saturday 2pm: Exchange

RE-IMAGINING CHURCH AND COMMERCE: With Sam Wells, David AlcockRuth AmosMark Kinder and Rob Wardle. How can commerce and church be realigned in order to take finances beyond the benefactor and the steward while deepening and embodying our understanding of the kingdom, rather than conflicting with, or confusing, it? Chaired by Cliff Mills.
Saturday 5pm: Colonnades

GREAT SACRED MUSIC: Meet at the end of the great lawn, bring a seat or a cushion. An opportunity to experience Great Sacred Music exploring great music via word and song. St Martin’s Voices with their Director of Music Andrew Earis and Vicar Revd Dr Sam Wells, explore through word and song some of the great music of our religious heritage.
Sunday 12:30pm: Shelter

TELL OUT MY SOUL! Members of St Martin’s Voices with Director of Music Andrew Earis and Associate Vicar Jonathan Evens explore in words and music some of the UK’s top 100 hymns, including Be thou my vision, Abide with me and Dear Lord and Father of mankind.
Sunday 2pm: Exchange

RE-IMAGINING CHURCH AND CONGREGATIONS: With Rosemarie MalletPhilippa BoardmanWale Hudson-Roberts and Simon Woodman. How might we move towards a vision for the renewal of congregational life by: starting with one another’s assets, not our deficits; inclusive approaches to liturgy, worship and day-to-day communal life; and seeing that God is giving the church everything it needs for the renewal of its life in the people who find themselves to be on the edge? Chaired by Jonathan Evens.
Monday 2pm: Exchange

RE-IMAGINING CHURCH AND COMPASSION: With Richard FrazerPam OrchardAl Barrett and Professor Anthony Reddie. How might we find our way to becoming abundant communities that open space for generosity and cooperation in models for serving local need and addressing social justice by seeing that care comes not out of some self-important altruism but out of recognition of our own need, and desire to be transformed by the strangers God sends us? Chaired by James Hughesdon.

For Greenbelt tickets book in here.


Arundel Cathedral - Tell Out My Soul!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Job Street & the workers in the vineyard

Here's my reflection from today's Eucharist at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

Chichele Road in Cricklewood is known as Job Street, where economic migrants line up to be hired from the back of a van, no questions asked. Dozens of men in jeans and anoraks hang around from 6.30am to discover whether they will be working that day. A car will stop, a negotiation will take place, a deal may be struck. Typically, the men will be whisked off to a building site or a house in the process of renovation. They will be paid £20 to £40 for a long, arduous day's work: no tax, no national insurance, no questions asked.

That’s essentially the scenario for today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 20. 1 - 16). The social situation in Jesus’ day was that many small farmers were being forced off their land because of debt they incurred to pay Roman taxes. Consequently, large pools of unemployed men gathered each morning, hoping to be hired for the day. They were the displaced, unemployed, and underemployed workers of their day. Those still waiting at five o'clock would have had little chance of earning enough to buy food for their families that day. Yet the vineyard owner pays even them a full day’s wage. The owner in the parable ensures that all the workers are paid enough to support their families, as a denarius was a full day’s pay for a skilled worker.

So, unlike those exploited illegal workers or gig economy workers earning less than the minimum wage, the employer in this story is concerned that those he employs are paid a living wage. The standard thing for an employer in Jesus’ day to do would be to send one of his employees to the marketplace to pick up a few extra workers for the day. But this employer goes to the marketplace himself. In fact, he goes repeatedly to seek workers and clearly cares about their predicament seeking to lift them out of their despair by providing work that meets their needs and the needs of those who depend on them. If God is like the owner of the vineyard then he cares about our hopeless situation as human beings. He comes looking for us. He goes on an all-out search to find workers for his vineyard. He longs to provide us with a life of significance in his kingdom work.

As N. T. Wright has said, God’s grace, in short, is not the sort of thing you can bargain with or try to store up. It isn’t the sort of thing that one person can have a lot of and someone else only a little. The point of the story is that what people get from having served God and his kingdom is not, actually, a ‘wage’ at all. It’s not, strictly, a reward for work done. God doesn’t make contracts with us, as if we could bargain or negotiate for a better deal. He makes covenants, in which he promises us everything and asks of us everything in return. When he keeps his promises, he is not rewarding us for effort, but doing what comes naturally to his overflowingly generous nature.

Michael Green says of this story: Length of service and long hours of toil in the heat of the day constitute no claim on God and provide no reason why he should not be generous to those who have done less. All human merit shrivels before his burning, self-giving love. Grace, amazing grace, is the burden of this story. All are equally undeserving of so large a sum as a denarius a day. All are given it by the generosity of the employer. All are on the same level. The poor disciples, fishermen and tax collectors as they are, are welcomed by God along with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are no rankings in the kingdom of God. Nobody can claim deserved membership of the kingdom. There is no place for personal pride, for contempt or jealousy, for there is no ground for any to question how this generous God handles the utterly undeserving. He is good. He sees that the one-hour workers would have no money for supper if they got paid for only one hour. In generosity he gives them what they need. Who is to complain at that?

Yet there is always a danger that we do get cross with God over this. People who work or move in church circles can easily assume that they are the special ones, God’s inner circle. In reality, as we have seen, God is out in the marketplace, looking for the people everybody else tried to ignore, welcoming them on the same terms, surprising them (and everybody else) with his generous grace. In Ephesians 2:8-10 Paul says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Is there anywhere in today’s church, I wonder, that doesn’t need to be reminded of that message?

The parable is also a message of hope to everyone struggling to find adequate employment. In God’s kingdom, it suggests, we will all find work that meets our needs. The parable is, therefore, also a challenge to all those who have a hand in shaping the structures of work in today’s society. What can we do, as Christians, to advance this aspect of God’s kingdom right now?


Judy Collins - Amazing Grace.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Windows on the world (409)

Palma, 2018


Will Todd - Ave Verum Corpus.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Artlyst: Art And The Consequences Of War Explored In Two Exhibitions

My latest piece for Artlyst is an article about the linked exhibitions, ‘Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One’ at Tate Britain and ‘Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919 – 33’ at Tate Modern. Both feature many of the same German artists, while Aftermath also includes British and French artists from the same period:

'In a move suggesting that mainstream curating has now accepted the validity of a continuing but fractious relationship between art and faith as a strand within modernism, both feature artists who depicted biblical stories in contemporary settings to reflect on the consequences of war (including Winifred Knights, Stanley Spencer and Albert Birkle). ‘Magic Realism’ has a room exploring Faith (including Birkle and Herbert Gurschner), while ‘Aftermath’ includes Georges Rouault’s series Miserere et Guerre (Mercy and War), adapting biblical imagery to reflect on contemporary experience.'

My other Artlyst articles and interviews are:

George Harrison - Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth).

Friday, 17 August 2018

The gifts that those with autism are bringing to the Church

Read the Church Times' article "Once we connect on to something, that’s it" on autism and Church, which features the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin-in-the-Fields with words from Fiona MacMillan.

The article says:

"There are estimated to be nearly a million people with a form of autism in the UK. It is likely that there are 80 in the average parish. Not all will be in church, but, like everyone else, they will be attending weddings, funerals, and other offices. Autism is not a mental-health condition, but a physical brain-wiring difference that, in the context of church worship, means, “Our brain wiring can literally overheat as it tries to handle too much input at once. We try very hard to avoid an overload of sensory or social situations.”

That explanation comes from the words of the C of E’s guidelines on autism, “Welcoming Those on the Autistic Spectrum”, which were created for Oxford diocese and formed part of the report Opening Doors, affirmed by the Synod in February.


Good practice can address all these things with what the guidelines say requires “nothing other than a bit of time and thought” — always in partnership with the people concerned. Fiona MacMillan chairs the Disability Advisory Group that works at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in London, which, in partnership with Inclusive Church, puts on an annual conference on disability and church. It is an opportunity to share learning and resources more widely, particularly evident in the booklet Calling From the Edge, launched at the General Synod in February.

“St Martin’s is a learning organisation,” she emphasises. “All our work is centred on lived experience: the experts are people who know, who encounter barriers and discrimination in daily life and in this place. We create change by understanding our different perspectives and working together to make things better.”

Whether characteristics associated with people with autism are perceived as positive or negative depends on context. “Understanding language literally is a challenge for those who don’t, but may encourage a clarity of thought which benefits all,” she reflects. “Wanting to know how things work doesn’t necessarily mean not appreciating mystery, or not being transfixed with wonder and delight at how things are.”

She lists among the characteristics of people with autism: “Honesty, integrity, directness, openness, creativity, different ways of perceiving, not being part of hierarchy and bureaucracy, not able to manipulate or discriminate. . . Loyalty, trust. Many autistic people have an inbuilt faith, unquestioning knowledge of the existence or presence of God.

“Having a passion for justice, spotting patterns, and noticing gaps or anomalies — including those who are left out or facing barriers to participation — are gospel values. Every church will have autistic people: some will have found their niche; others may not be open. It’s about acceptance of each other, openness to difference, acknowledging that one size doesn’t fit all, but we are all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.”

Book a place to attend 'Something Worth Sharing', the 2018 conference on Disability and Church organised in partnership by Inclusive Church and St Martin-in-the-Field's, in October.


Gungor - Beautiful Things.

Palma: Es Baluard & Museu Fundación Juan March

Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art in Palma was opened in 2004 as a cultural institution for research and dissemination of Balearic & Mediterranean art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is housed in a former military fortress - the Baluard de Sant Pere - which dates back to the 16th century, and was part of the Renaissance wall that surrounded the city of Palma.

The collection of the Foundation Es Baluard consists of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and drawings by artists emerging from the late 19th century: Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso, Miro, Picabia, Magritte, Giacometti , Motherwell, Tàpies, to more recent artists such as Horn, Plessi, Polke, Kiefer, Schnabel, Barceló, and Scully. There are also outstanding examples of Catalan and Mediterranean landscapes, and artists who directly or indirectly have been associated with the Balearics: S. Rusiñol, J. Mir, A. Gelabert, H. Anglada-Camarasa, J. Or MH Mompó Ramis, among others.

The museum covers a total surface of 5,027 square metres, with 2,500 sq.m of exhibition space. The museum features one of the largest cisterns from the 17th century, known as 'The Aljub'. This fresh water reservoir was used to supply the Sant Pere quarter,as well as ships that used to dock in the harbour. It is now used as a setting for installations of contemporary artists, and for shows and concerts. The exhibition space extends on to large terraces and external spaces, from where wonderful views of the Bay of Palma can be enjoyed.

The main current exhibition is a retrospective of Majorcan audiovisual artist Bernardí Roig. Eighteen films have been installed on the lower floor of the museum creating a hellish environment through the conflicting soundscapes and the absurd, violent performative acts depicted in repeating loops from which the characters are unable to escape. 'These works tell us about an insatiable and nonsensical sisyphic absurd where the solitary figures of each of the videos act, caught in the repetition of gestures, in a sameness spiral. Either carrying a lamp on his back, sewing his mouth forever, spinning with a spotlight on his head without being able to get out of the claustrophobic spaces of rationalism, climbing a mountain constantly to never reach the ruins of the language philosopher’s cottage, or trapped between laughter and the aphonia of mute insults.'

The Museu Fundación Juan March in Palma de Mallorca has a permanent collection of seventy works by the most important Spanish vanguard artists of the twentieth century (Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Juan Gris and Salvador Dalí among them). The collection also includes representative examples of the innovative artistic movements of the mid-twentieth century with works by the most recent generations of Spain's artists. A total of fifty-two artists are represented. The Museum's galleries for temporary exhibitions display works by both national and international contemporary artists. The current exhibition is of prints by Picasso from the Fundación Juan March collection. Inaugurated in 1990, the Museum is centrally located in Palma, in an eighteenth-century building of regionalist style with touches of modernist inspiration.

Among the collection I was particularly interested in La estancia which 'brings together all the "ingredients" that make up [Guillermo] Pérez Villalta’s universe: Renaissance and mannerism, trompe-l’oeil and contorted figures, narrative and autobiographical elements, narcissism, cultural references, the blurring between reality and representation, interest in southern landscapes, and the neomodern style of the Costa del Sol. The naked and reflective man on the left is a self-portrait. Next to him, an empty glass has been knocked down, while one of the two figures depicted in the central mural prepares to place a crown of thorns on his head—this image brings to mind Cristo en la columna [Christ at the Column, 1980], a work where Pérez Villalta portrays himself in a similar manner. The figure on the right is also a self-portrait. Lying on a neo-modernist multicolored mattress, the artist lies with his back turned to the spectator. A full glass of wine rests on a palette beside him, as a Mediterranean landscape appears to unfold on the background. The mural also features a lamb pierced through by an arrow.'

Also, Jordi Teixidor's High Altar. Teixidor is 'an artist who remains faithful to the essence of modern painting, he has learned and experimented extensively, creating extremely personal works characterized by the liveliness of the colors, the subtle nuances of the brushstrokes and the serenity of the compositions. The result is expressed in large fields of color that respond to the restrained geometrical structures that precisely delimit them. The title of the work ['High Altar'], however, seems to refer to history, albeit to the history of painting itself. The words "high altar" bring to mind the large-scale altarpieces in which baroque artists experimented widely with colors And the effects of chiaroscuro. The succinct geometrical form that bites into The rich chromatic field at the upper edge of the painting offers the only reference To the title, although, in its minimalist essentialism, this flat form in the shape of a double T Is an abstract element devoid of any reference or expressivity.'


Eurythmics, Aretha Franklin - Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves.

Cathedral de Mallorca: Le Seu

The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma is more commonly referred to as La Seu. Its construction began in the 13th century. It is a Levantine Gothic-style cathedral (characterised by using a German-style hall layout) and has one of the largest rose windows in the world, known as “the Gothic eye”. Its nave is also one of the highest in any European Gothic cathedral.

During the 17th and 18th centuries the Baroque started to fill the inside of the Cathedral in the form of altarpieces, paintings and sculptures shaped by the spirituality of the period following the Council of Trent, including such emblematic pieces as the Corpus Christi altarpiece by Jaume Blanquer, the cloister and the new chapter house.

After the earthquake of 1851, the main façade was left in a precarious condition and so Bishop Miquel Salvà Munar entrusted its restoration to the architect Juan Bautista Peyronet.

At the start of the 20th century, the architect Antoni Gaudí adapted the Cathedral to meet new liturgical and pastoral requirements. His work, requested by Bishop Pere Joan Campins, continued from 1904 to 1914. The principal changes that Gaudí made to the cathedral were:
  • The removal of the gothic choir stalls from the centre of the nave, and its relocation in the presbytery, around the high altar. In addition, Josep Maria Jujol added lively colors to the stalls that did not go over too well with the priests.
  • The removal and recycling of the mudejar wooden candle gallery from the walls of the Capilla Real.
  • Decoration of the presbytery with ceramic tiling, representing the crests of the bishops of Mallorca, surrounded by olive-tree branches, with inscriptions in Latin on the wall that surround the episcopal throne.
  • Removal the baroque retablo (high altar) from the presbytery, that was moved the to the Church of Santa Catalina.
  • Removal of the gothic retablo and reinstalled it at the Puerta del Mirador.
  • Placing the high altar table in front of the uncovered episcopal throne, formerly hidden by the gothic and baroque retablos.
  • Placing of a forged iron railing for the presbytery.
  • Placing forged iron lamps and candelabras of various designs.
  • Placing two canopies above the high altar.
  • Building two galleries for cantors on each side of the presbytery, made up of plateresque elements.
  • Relocation of the two pulpits on the two nearest columns from the high altar, one of which was never completed, and the canopy of the big one was later removed in January 1970.
  • In addition, various chandeliers were installed in the entrance to the Capilla Real and in the aisles.
Two more important contributions that Gaudí made to the beautiful cathedral are the furniture and the stained-glass windows. Among the furniture, the highlights include the bench for the officiants at the altar, a stool, a lectern and the beautiful folding stairway that allows access to the exposition of the Holy Sacrament. In this cathedral, Gaudí used a new method for giving colour to the stained-glass windows, consisting of superimposing three glass sections in the primary colors (yellow, blue and red). His intention was to test the technique before implementing in the Sagrada Familia. He also restored the rose windows and stained-glass windows that had been walled over.

The inside of the Cathedral provides a great sensation of space and structural lightness, accentuated by the characteristics of the octagonal columns that divide the nave from the aisles, made out of sandstone from the quarries of Santanyí and Galdent (Llucmajor): just 14 columns divide the nave from the aisles, seven on each side. These divide the different sections. They are widely spaced (7.74 m.), are extremely slender and, above all, are very high (21.47 m). This sensation of lightness increases with the effects of the light that enters the Cathedral through the 7 rose windows and 83 windows – some installed during the last twenty years – and characterises the inside of the Cathedral. All of this has led to the Cathedral being known as “the Cathedral of light”.

The Chapel of the Holy Eucharist is the work of the Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló from between 2001 and 2006, following which the chapel was rededicated to the Holy Eucharist. The installation represents the miracle of Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fish for his followers. Cracked ceramic covers the chapel’s walls creating a cavelike feel while sculpted fish, bread, fruit, and human skulls feature prominently in the panoramic relief. The chapel’s stone furniture and darkened stained glass windows complete the scene’s dramatic effect.


Aretha Franklin - Bridge Over Troubled Water.