A UNITED METHODIST CONGREGATION
The architecture of the church is an American adaptation of the Gothic. The height of the outer walls 60 ft. Height of tower, 76 feet. Length of entire building 197 feet. Length of nave 100 ft. Width of nave including side aisle 46 feet. Seating capacity is nave: 719, balcony: 200, choir: 51, total = 970.
Because Lark Street was and is a business street with (at the time of building) street cars and considerable noise of traffic, and due to the slope of the ground, it was determined to place the main entrance to the church sanctuary on Lancaster Street at the western end of the lot. This also confirmed the traditional orientation which placed the the entrance porch to the West or the setting sun and the chancel to the East or rising sun. Whenever possible churches are built east and west with the altar in the east end this is because the first christians had previously been sun worshipers. With their acceptance of christianity, they thought of Christ as the “Sun of Righteousness’ . Hence, they continued worshiping towards the east.
Since the entrance to the sanctuary was placed on Lancaster Street, the entrance to the church school, the parish hall and the chapel was placed on Lark Street. One reason was that because of the contour of the site, parish hall had to be on a lower level of the church. The other reason was that the church school met after the main worship service was over, and it was less confusing to have worshipers exiting from the Lancaster Street doors, while the church school students were entering from Lark Street. They also wanted the chapel to be open during the week for people to stop by for prayer and meditation.
The chapel entrance arch has the shields of eleven of the apostles, Judas being omitted. Also St. Paul has replaced Thaddeus or “St. Jude” as his shield often occurs with the twelve. Reading from left to right we have in order:
St. Andrew - The cross saltire and a boat hook (Andrew was a fisherman who supposedly died on a cross with that shape while preaching in Greece St. Philip - The cross and loaves (Philip is mentioned as being present when Jesus fed the multitude with loaves and fishes.) St. Bartholomew - ‘The branch of a fig tree (recalling John 1:48 “when the wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”) St. Thomas - The spear and carpenter’s square (he is said to have built a church building at Malipur, in East India where he was killed by a mob and run through with a spear by a pagan priest.) St. James the lesser - The windmill (a symbol of diligent labor, he was the bishop of Jerusalem.) St. Matthias - The book and axe (the apostle who replaced Judas Iscariot and who was stoned and beheaded after his missionary work in Judea) St. Simon - The Fish and Book, (The Canaanite Simon was a great fisher of men as well as a preacher of the Gospel.) St. Peter - The crossed keys (derived from the words of Jesus to him, ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom”) and the inverted cross (he died on such a cross). St. James - The Three Shells, (the escallop shell is the symbol of Pigrimage.)
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