May 31, 2005 |
We've seen it before, but it's no less shocking - the burned-out shell of a church building on the day after a major fire. Often we are looking at the church through the ragged tracery of a broken Gothic window, but instead of the sanctuary ceiling, we see the sky beyond. The latest example of this tragedy ? First Baptist Church of Conshohocken ? reminds us again that our sacred places are beautiful but vulnerable. A fire of that magnitude challenges our assumption that a building evoking the 13th century will, of course, make it through the 21st.
December 25, 2005 |
Perhaps it's not too much to hope that an umbrella won't be needed at Christmas Mass. Or a hard hat. Or a pew near a fire exit. Now, thanks to what its sponsors say is a unique new funding collaboration, five historic churches will receive major grants to attack building woes - woes that have forced congregations under umbrellas and into hard hats and toward fire exits. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and nonprofit Partners for Sacred Places, a service organization, have put up $250,000 each to help the Philadelphia churches meet urgent structural needs.
October 14, 2014 |
Weeks after completing its last round of parish mergers and closures, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that 14 more parishes in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties could be combined with nearby churches or shuttered. This time, the archdiocese is targeting three clusters of churches for cutbacks: In Delaware County's Springfield Township, the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi, Holy Cross, and St. Kevin. In Montgomery County, the parishes of St. Alphonsus in Maple Glen, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph in Ambler, St. Catherine of Siena in Horsham, St. Genevieve in Flourtown, and Holy Martyrs in Oreland.
November 8, 2011 |
The city's newest stage officially opens Wednesday night in a Center City space with a high ceiling and 100 new seats. It doesn't even have a name yet. But already it has developed a pedigree. The theater, on a lower floor of First Baptist Church of Philadelphia at 17th and Sansom Streets, is the first success in a project called Arts in Sacred Places, a Philadelphia-based project that will match unused spaces in holy sites with the needs of arts groups looking for room to rehearse, keep offices, perform, exhibit, and even build sets and costumes.
July 29, 2014 |
Trinity Memorial Church at 22d and Spruce Streets was failing in the summer of 1994, and the few dozen remaining congregants knew it. They talked about selling off the oak pews, or even the chocolate-brown Victorian building itself, but the conversation kept going in circles. The members of the little Episcopal church just couldn't agree what to do. Then, in the midst of their collective soul-searching, the historic church and its congregation were saved, oddly enough, by a bolt of lightning.
October 31, 1997 |
Urban religious congregations are essential providers of community services, especially for the poorest of the poor, and need broad support from corporations, foundations and even government, according to a national study released here yesterday. Urban congregations typically operate four community service programs, serve four times more people than they have members, and provide $140,000 worth of services and meeting space to their neighborhoods, the Philadelphia-based Partners for Sacred Places reported in a new study: Sacred Places at Risk.
September 2, 1998
Saving the buildings that help save communities Mark Alan Hughes and Anais Loizillon (Inquirer, Aug. 26) were right to call on religious leaders to protect the contribution that Philadelphia's fragile church and synagogue buildings make to their neighborhoods. Our research has shown that congregations provide an enormous subsidy that fuels countless day-care, feeding, after-school and job-training programs all across the region. We need an ecumenical approach that encourages suburban congregations to help their inner-city brethren keep sacred places going before they suffer further disrepair and dismemberment.
January 12, 2012 |
THE REV. VINCENT SMITH was looking at the sky through one of the two gaping holes in the roof of Point Breeze's 19th Street Baptist Church and wondering when he could bring his congregation home. For the past five years, his 100 parishioners have worshipped in an adjoining building, forced to leave their sanctuary - designed by acclaimed architect Frank Furness and built in 1875 - because of the roof and other structural problems. "It can be a little discouraging to some.
November 7, 2008 |
Archaeology left a lasting imprint on the arts of the 1980s in America and Europe, and Claus Mroczynski's photographs of awesome prehistoric American Indian habitats in the Southwest capture a strong sense of that interest. The Michener Museum recognizes the important legacy of this late, outstanding German-born New Hope photographer with the exhibit "Claus Mroczynski: Sacred Places of the Southwest" at its New Hope location. The 46 featured black and white photos represent 18 years spent, starting in the mid-1980s, constantly traveling back and forth from New Hope to remote sacred grounds of ancient Indians in Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
July 9, 2014 |
James Gordon Winkler, 62, of Bala Cynwyd, a Philadelphia architect and bluegrass music lover, died Tuesday, July 1, of cancer at his home. Mr. Winkler's passion was architecture and design. "He believed in the power of good design to influence the vitality of cities, and in the preservation of buildings as a connection to the past," said his wife, Marion "Mimi" Converse Winkler, also an architect. He also enjoyed mentoring the next generation of architects. Mr. Winkler was raised in North Wilkesboro, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.