THE CROSS is usually a principal sign associated with a church building. But do we devalue it by overuse? I see crosses put on the wine and water cruets. I see them on stoles. I see them put on chairs – so that we are sitting on or leaning against, hiding… It is as if a symbol is not trusted to convey meaning unless we put another sign or symbol on top of it – and this second one is most regularly a cross…

A spire is often built to lift a cross to be the highest feature. What is a spire without a cross…

In an entrance procession we bring in the cross as one of the signs around which the community is gathering for worship. This cross can be placed in a central place in our worship space. Not leaning against a wall! Not brought in – and then hidden off to the side where most cannot see it. What does it mean if we already have a community cross visible in place – why are we bringing in this second(ary) cross as we start worship together?

When we are not gathered for the community’s worship, this community cross can still be placed in the central point of our worship space so that those who come in during the week for a time of prayer have the community’s cross as one of the foci for devotion. There will need to be a stand for the cross, or a hole in the floor in which the cross is inserted. Does the community want it always in the same place, or movable?

This post is, hopefully, useful for a number of contexts. It is particularly offered as one in a series for reflection as we begin planning the building of a number of church buildings after the closing of dozens of church buildings because of the Canterbury earthquakes.

Can you add some ideas, responses, even further questions to help people’s reflections…

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