Each morning as I walk to work this sight greets my eyes (photo pinched from Flickr, original can be seen here apologies for any inadvertnet copyright breaches)
A church with a slipped halo?
Some kind of over-sized hoopla-game played by a giant using church spires as pins? If so, what score for this one?
The light pollution is such that the night sky always has an orange glow to it, and the stark electric blue of the halo stands in sharp contrast to all around it.
This building was once a church, then a Bible college, and now is a restaurnat/pub/club type thing.
Lots of people have lots of views about the building's role, and about the halo. It always strikes me as a supreme irony that the mainstream churches have covenants precluding sale of premises for pubs, clubs, entertainment venues or carpet warehouses but that Bible colleges and some newer Christian groups have no such hesitation. I have recollections of a Methodist church that was sold to Pentecostal church who sold it to become a bingo hall and of an Anglican parish church sold to a 'new church' who sold it to holiday company and I think it is now a tanning parlour... Questions about religious buildings and their status and use abound.
But, rightly or wrongly, the slipped halo makes me smile every time I see it. I love the humour of it, the self-deprecating mickey-taking idea of a church whose halo has slipped now that it is what it is. And what of our invisible halos? Churches are full of complex and flawed people, whose own halos would be very skew-whiffy I'm sure; well mine would be.
This halo is of course in once sense a ruthlessly commerical emblem, a talking point, something designed to make this club/pub/restaurant stand out from all the others. And it succeeds, as this post testifies. However, for us to be one of the churches near the halo... well that makes directions easier!
Love it, loathe it; delight in the building being employed and enjoyed or grieve the loss of a beautiful church; smile, scowl; approve, tut... whatever else it does, it makes you think. And that can't be a bad thing, can it?