Tuesday 29 May 2012


The tiles in the sanctuary at Holy Trinity.  Why post a picture of them?

I spotted a conversation on the SEC Facebook-o-sphere about what colour carpets should be used in a sanctuary.  In one as damp as ours - transparent and non-existent is the only sensible option. I feel I'm too new to the SEC to launch in to jolly debates about gold/purple/blue (I have blue on Bute). But we have these tiles, slightly tired-looking as they are.

The lack of carpet means cold feet in the winter-time, even through soles of ones shoes.  It also means clicking and clacking as the servers walk about.  It means a ringing, sharp acoustic in this end of the church.
But that means that the voice of the priest, facing the east wall (our stone altar is rather firmly fixed there) is picked up and carried back to the congregation.  I believe I am easier to hear facing the wall than turning and speaking directly - the resonance of the tiles, the wall, the window, the head slightly angled (as I was trained) to ensure reflection of sound - it all seems to work. The fabric and space that we use for worship can resonate and send messages out beyond even the walls, into our communities!  That's being missionaries in the 21st century!

And the tiles themselves: what changes they have seen since the 1840s when they were put in place.  Changes to the church, and to the world outside!  Apparently the humble tiles also matter: I was telephoned not long after arrival, by an academic of the encaustic tile society (or something like that) to ensure that our significant Victorian encaustic tiles were still there.  Which they are.

So maybe it's worth posting a picture of some tiles every once in a while!


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  2. As you dump the spam, let me leave my comment: the sound - of you, of singers when we have a performance here - are both enhanced by the removal of the carpet that used to lurk damply all over this area, and tired though they are, I think the tiles look better. But then, I would say that ...