Source: Program Brochure, Winter-Spring 2014 (St. Peter's Anglican Church), pp. 4-5
The Cruciform Shape of the Church
Being true to Gothic architecture, we have built a church shaped like the cross of Christ. This form of architecture was the first attempt at building churches that reflect in their very form the Gospel message. The sacrificial love of God in the Cross of Christ is the very heart of our faith and will literally give shape to our worship.
Five Celtic Crosses
The Five large crosses atop the church represent the five wounds of Christ on the Cross – the price He suffered for the sins of the world (one in each wrist, one in each foot, and one in His side). The crosses are in celtic form in recognition of our heritage in the British Isles where the Celtic Christians date back as early as the 3rd century.
The Altar in the East End
Some think we have built our church backwards with the apse facing Thomasville Road, and the main entrance at the other end. In fact, we have built the church true to Gothic form with the altar in the east. Altars are located in the east end of the church to underscore the fact that we
“celebrate” a resurrected Lord. The sun rises in the east, brilliant light coming through the windows behind the altar, to remind us of the Risen Lord Jesus.
The Crucifix above the Altar
Bob Mullins has hand-carved a magnificent crucifix (900 pounds) to be suspended above the central altar. The crucifix is placed at the crossing (where the cross-shape of the church comes together) to illustrate the primary focus of our Christian life: the sacrificial love of God in Jesus. A crucifix is different from a cross in that the corpus (the body) is attached. Fr. Eric says “Easter tells us that God did it, but Good Friday tells us what He has done.” Good Friday (Jesus on the cross) is the content of Easter. In a culture that flees from suffering, and a liberal Christianity that abhors the idea of substitutionary atonement, we bow before a suffering Lord. The crucifix holds ever before us that God understands our human suffering, and that God loves us enough to bend His own Being to suffering for our sake.
Two Rose Windows
The Rose Window in the west end of the church (above the front doors) will represent the Creation narrative in Genesis one. The “rose petals” will each represent a different moment in the six days of creation. At the
center of the rose will be the figure of Christ- the one, who according to St. John, was in the beginning; through whom the whole created order was made. The east window, above the high altar, will represent the New Creation in Jesus (Book of Revelation), with the Apostles sitting on their thrones, ruling in glory with Jesus who sits at the center. The window will have images representing the “New Jerusalem,” as well as the leaves of the Tree of Life, “...for the healing of the nations.” These two rose windows act as the bookends of all the rest, which tell the story of salvation history. Salvation History is framed by the Creation in Genesis and the New Creation in Jesus.