Sunday, July 18, 2010

Photo Essay: Third Church of Christ, Scientist

While out in London during one of my monthly photo walks, came across this sign.

The word scientist next to Christ made me stop.

Stepped back and saw this church facade. Then when saw the full words “Third Church of Christ Scientist”, I was immediately reminded of the Church of Scientology and the oft quoted statements around “Islamic Science”. The first because of the name similarity and the second because to associate science with religion always struck me as particularly extraordinary. Here is the full slide show with bigger resolutions.

It is a tall building with a proud tower in Portland stone. Very dignified indeed. It was closed so I could not enter but looked very impressive.

The top bowl like entrance has a crest on the top. The verbiage says, “Cleanse the Leper, Raise the Dead, Heal the Sick” around a winged lit lamp with entwined chains. Looking at the logo on wiki, it should have had another piece of text, “Cast out Demons”, but seems to have been missed here.


Lovely windows, with exquisitely carved windows on the left and some very good intricate iron work on the grills on the bottom windows. There is a display cabinet in front in the right hand side photograph



There are books displayed on the display cabinet. Nice, but nothing extraordinary. I did not know that it is this church which publishes the Christian Science Monitor. That is a very good publication.


But the next set of display items made me blink, on the left you have a standard bible quote but on the right, you have a magazine with the cover talking about countering terrorism. Not what i would have expected from a religious church magazine.

A lovely cast iron balcony with lamps. I think this is the first time I have ever seen something like this on a balcony. It doesnt look like a show balcony either.

It is not a derelict building, there are services held on Wednesdays. But why Wednesdays? Off I went to check the wiki entry. The adherents of this church believe that they can heal through prayer and they reject medicine. I will let you judge where this is going. I find this extraordinary, children have been murdered (yes, I use the word explicitly) when members of this church have relied on prayer rather than medical attention when their kids have fallen ill and subsequently died. And the final nail in the coffin? Mark Twain looked upon this church and the lady concerned with jaundiced eyes. As GB Shaw said, Christian Science is neither Christian nor scientific”.

Still, nice building.

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