I’ve probably mentioned before that I find old churches comforting.
I remember attending church services with my grandma when I was little.
She went to a beautiful old Presbyterian church on top of a hill in her hometown, and the only times I ever went to church was when we visited her.
I love the sound of hymns sung in ancient churches, and when it’s empty, the peaceful and solemn atmosphere creates a welcoming space to sit, reflect and gather one’s thoughts.
There’s just something sacred and divine about that.
I found all sorts of little churches in Paris; my favourite was Eglise Saint-Merri.
It stood close to our apartment and I could see it from our window.
I’d sneak in when I needed moments by myself, or wanted some peace and quiet from Le Marais
I’d take a pew, meditate for a few minutes and I’d feel refreshed again.
The old Presbyterian church down the street from us is being torn down.
I don’t know how I feel about it, I’ve always loved the building, the architecture is beautiful, very Pacific Northwest.
I attended Christmas Eve service there once and it felt welcoming, but that’s the only time I ever went there.
The whole ‘tearing down the church’ business reminds me of the line in Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”
A couple of years ago, the city turned a few of parking lots into parks and green spaces, and when people complained I remember thinking how much it was like that song, except in reverse.
I felt like I lived in utopia or someplace similar were parking lots beautifully get transformed into gardens.
Soon the church will become condos, people will move in, life will go on and we’ll eventually forget the old church that once stood there.
The old church in Paris was built in the 1500s; and has for centuries come to mean all sorts of things to all kinds of people.
The old church on Comox Street was built in 1906, there are a few people still hoping to keep it around for a few more years.
Who knows? Maybe centuries from now it’ll still be standing, giving hope to others.