Old folk at lunch

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

I usually try to get along to church on Good Friday and I did so today  -- but to a different church.  I went to St. John's Presbyterian at Annerley. I normally go to Ann St. Presbyterian in the city.

I "discovered" St. John's only recently, when I was driving in the area and took a wrong turn.  As I was driving down the "wrong" street, however, I noticed a very well-maintained and attractive church in it.  So I went along to the 8.30am service there today to find out a little more about it.

It is built in a Queensland 1920's style, with an exterior of both weatherboards and stucco.  The stucco is painted cream and the weatherboards maroon.  The overall effect is very pleasant.  See below

The interior was quite impressive, with  hammerbeam ceiling supports and NO GRAVEN IMAGES.  There was very attractive leadlight coloured glass in the casement windows but no stained glass, no pictures.  And there was neither a crucifix nor a cross in sight.  Presbyterians of old were quite iconoclastic and this congregation was obviously happy to continue that.  The second picture below -- looking towards the entrance of the church -- gives you some idea of it.

Note the steel bracing for the ceiling.  That was a custom in the 1920s for giving structural strength to large open spaces.  Schools used it too.  I grew up in such spaces so felt at home with it.

The congregation tended to be elderly as usual but filled up most of the back of the church.  I would say the church was about two thirds full, so that is quite creditable.

An interesting custom among the congregation is that they nearly all followed the Bible readings in the pew Bible.  The pew Bible was a very fine one:  A NKJ version with references, concordance  and a good clear black font well adapted to being read by old eyes.

The minister was VERY elderly, walking with the help of a stick, and his message was a very traditional one, focusing on salvation  -- which is of course entirely appropriate at Easter.

So it was a pleasant way to reconnect with my Presbyterian background.  Anne enjoyed it too.  I never have to twist her arm to get her to church.

And straight after church, Anne shot off back to her place  to put on a piece of roast pork.  Two of her sons were expected for a late lunch by way of an Easter visit.

I turned up about 1.30pm and the pork was taken off at 2pm.  And it turned out perfectly  -- something not always certain with a roast.  Both sons had partners with them so it was six at table.  It was a relaxed and congenial affair.

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