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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

  Presbyterian church plans are very -- intentionally -- different from 
Catholic, and thus, medieval plans.  All Protestant churches made a 
point, from very early, of bringing the altar closer to the congregation 
and foregrounding the pulpit, and Catholic churches have been gradually 
catching up on that.  During the Counter-Reformation, jubes (the screens 
between choir-sanctuary and nave) were very widely demolished, and 
Vatican II has had even more drastic consequences: in the late 1990s, 
the high altar of Chartres Cathedral, for example, was moved out of the 
sanctuary into the transept.  Although I'm not familiar with them, there 
are studies of Presbyterian and Baptist church planning that should be 
useful for you.  It strikes me from what I can remember off-hand, that 
such churches are only coincidentally oriented.  I believe, in fact, 
that they gave up on any symbolic alignment of their churches at all.  
It seems striking that your church actually has a transept: many 
Presbyterian churches adopted a sort of "theatre" plan.
Cheers,
Jim

On 26/08/2010 9:45 AM, Conrad Bladey wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> Seems most likely solution to me. Someone in the management was 
> probably a compass stickler. Just goes to show that churches will work 
> no matter what the design if the floor plan acomidates the ritual and 
> seating etc....
>
> Conrad
>
> Genevra Kornbluth wrote:
>
>> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and 
>> culture
>>
>> Timothy--
>> The east-west axis is of course the normal one for the congregation 
>> and altar, and an important minority of churches has the altar in the 
>> west rather than the east, beginning with Old Saint Peter's.
>> Could the alignment of this axis with the transept rather than the 
>> nave have to do with the proportions of the particular site? If a 
>> 'Latin cross' plan was desired and the long dimension was available 
>> only north-south, the arrangement you describe could have been a 
>> practical solution. In any case, it keys into a tradition of church 
>> plans with multiple naves in lieu of transepts, as at Qal'at Si'man 
>> (Syria).
>> Best,
>> Genevra Kornbluth
>>
>>>
>>> Timothy J. Johnson wrote:
>>>
>>>> Colleagues,
>>>>
>>>> I am currently doing research on a 19th century church in St. 
>>>> Augustine, Florida, called Memorial Presbyterian Church. It was 
>>>> built in a Romanesque-Byzantine style with Moorish influences. Set 
>>>> out in the form of a Latin cross, the axis of the church runs from 
>>>> north to south but the community uses the east entrance and the 
>>>> pulpit and altar are in the west end of the transept. The 
>>>> architectural plans indicate this was the intent for the sanctuary 
>>>> from the beginning despite the fact that the main entrance and 
>>>> facade are on the south end of the church. Many of you have visited 
>>>> and studied medieval churches throughout Europe. Have you ever 
>>>> encountered a church were the pulpit and altar were in the transept 
>>>> and the congregational seating was adjusted accordingly? Thanks in 
>>>> advance for any assistance you might provide me.
>>>
>>
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