St. Patrick’s Church

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St. Patrick's Church
St. Patrick's Church, Patrick Street, St. John's, Newfoundland (Canada)

St. Patrick and I are relative strangers; none of my family hails from Ireland, I’m not Roman Catholic, and, insofar as hagiography goes, Patrick has never really been one of my favourites. I prefer the saints reputed to have wry senses of humour, like Lawrence or Agatha. At least, I hope Agatha was finding some humour in the situation.  After all, how often does one find a cure for mastectomy in a vision of St. Peter? I enjoy the saints with a bit of mystique and Patrick, while certainly ingenious, hard-working and highly successful, lacks the aura that comes of having been martyred before an accurate historical record was kept.

Greyfriar
The signature of James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars), maker of Victorian-era stained-glass windows.

But St. Patrick’s Church I like very much. (Not that I dislike Patrick, you understand. Although I suspect I would have. He sounds like a difficult man with whom to get along, if you weren’t Christian or inclined to be. Rather like St. Paul, I imagine.) It is a beautifully-proportioned late Gothic Revival-style stone church on a hill in downtown St. John’s. No wait, I take that back. It is simply one of the many churches in downtown St. John’s, all of which are on hills. St. John’s has relatively little flat.

Today we were out and about for various reasons and decided to poke our heads in. It looked like Mass was due to start, so we skedoodled pretty quickly, but I had a chance to take a few shots without disrupting anyone. The light streaming in from the western side was glorious.

Light and shadow
Light and shadow - looking toward the back of the church. The stairs lead up into the choir loft.

The warmth of the coloured windows’ light belied the cold of the afternoon outside. Not wanting to interfere with folks having a legitimate usage for the building, we left half an hour before the service was due to start.

Gentle evening
Gentle evening

 

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