Monday, September 25, 2006

Chatres by Night - East End of St Peter's Church

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
The East end of St Peter's looked pretty spectacular once it was covered by a mass of projections
Oh if only we had projectors capable of doing this sort of thing ! But it does take a phenomenal amount of money (sigh!) The list of sponsors on the hoardings outside the buildings was as long as my arm . But I was very very glad I got to see the images anyway.

They also had projections along some very small and ordinary streets. We'd be wondering along and suddenly see nights jousting on the wall, or a giant image of a lady. The moving images were the most impressive, but also the most difficult to photograph. One was like an enormous film loop on the side of one of those long French chateau-like buildings, so you'll just have to imagine what that might have been like!

St Peter's Church, Chartres.

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
The rest of St Peters Church was also covered in slides. They gave it this amazing jewel-box effect.

Chartres - The North Door

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
Here is a close up of the apostles on the North Door of Chartres cathedral. The projections were aiming to give a feel for what the statues would have looked like in the middle ages, when they were painted in bright colours.

Chatres by night

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
This is the West door of the Cathedral in Chartres, fairly early on in the Son et Lumiere show. By the end of the show the entire West front was covered in Stained glass, but it was acutally quite hard to photograph as it kept changing.

Chatres by night

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
The French do some amazing audio visual stuff which is one of the reasons why I love holidaying in France. This year we toured around France, starting at the South Atlantic coast and finishing up by
getting the ferry from Calais to Dover. But one of the highlights was Chatres by night. WOW! Not only had they covered the cathedral in images, which moved and changed, as music played in the square, but they had covered most of the town with them too! There must have been about ten different buildings with projections on them, and all of them were completely amazing! So here follow some highlights of the Chatres illuminations, which just proves what is possible with a big budget and a huge amount of sponsorship!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I expect this piece, for some, is teaching grannies how to suck eggs, but I thought I'd mention it anyway, as I noticed that
it keeps happening at events and services. Notably last week, but I shan't tell you where, that would be mean.

A piece of music I heard at a recent service reminded me of something simple which really improves things for me. As the title says, Fading. While I was at college lots of people used to play music while we were waiting for morning
prayer to begin. Then when things were about to start the music stopped "whap!" But it doesn't have to be like that.
Anyway all you have to do to avoid those nasty little "whap!" noises is turn the volume down gently before pressing stop and hey presto! a lovely fade. Then you can always fade the next bit of music up. Sometimes some of the simplest things are the most effective ones.

Of course its even better if you can find a little mixer and mix one piece of music into another, but if not a good old fade will
cover any abrupt changes nicely.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


The theme of Sunday's service was prejudice and the values we use to put other people into boxes. We had four boxes at the front of the church. A shocking pink box with a bow on it, a carved box with gold on it, a blue businesslike box and an old scrappy cardboard box. The floor of the church had a pile of pictures in the centre of it, which had been taken from magazines.
People were invited to place some pictures into the boxes that they thought they might fit in, according to any criteria they wished really. Perhaps according to the way they say them , or according to the way society saw them. So we were judging by first impressions

Later in the service we opened the boxes and put the pictures near each box, so that people could see which pictures were by which boxes....
then we prayed the following prayer.

leader: We pray for those we put in a nice box,
the A list celebrities,
the idols,
those who are given the Star treatment,
those who we put on pedestals,
who find it hard to live up
to our labels and expectations.

All: Jesus Christ
The only true Superstar
We pray for those
Who cannot cope with the star-treatment
The paparrazi, the pressure.
Help them to know,
That you can see them warts and all.
And love them for who they truly are
Not who they pretend to be.

leader: We pray for those we put in a scrappy box.
Those trapped in crummy flats, dead-end jobs,
Those treated like dirt, because of their looks,
Their smell, their colour, their body shape

All: Jesus Christ,
Born in an outhouse,
We pray for those
Who cannot cope with their surroundings,
Who cannot cope with being treated like dirt,
Or, worse still, have never known anything better.
You promise to set the prisoners free,
Set these people free,
From our expectations,
Help them to feel loved, valued and important to You.

leader: We pray for those we put in a pretty box.
Those we judge for how they look.
Those we do not allow to fulfil their potential,
Because of their past, or their sex or sexuality.

All: Jesus Christ,
Who treated women as equals,
Who ate with prostitutes and swindlers
And gave us all a new start.
We pray for those
Who cannot cope with others prejudice
And those who say "you can't do that"
And those who cannot break free from the past.
Help them to find new opportunities,
Help them hear your call in their lives.
And help us never to stand in the way of that call.

leader: We pray for those we put in an efficient box
Those we judge by their previous successes
Those we load down with high expectations
Of future performance,
Those who never get the time
To rest and be themselves.

All: Jesus Christ,
Managing Director
Of the Company of Heaven,
Leader who serves
The Way to the Truth.
We pray for those
Who cannot cope with the pressure
Of always trying to be "top"
You promise to set the prisoners free,
Set these people free,
From their own expectations,
Help them to feel loved, valued and important to You
And that its Ok sometimes to fail.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Candlelit "Junk"

Originally uploaded by Suevisions.
Here is a picture of the junk after the prayer ritual was finished.

The Beauty of Junk

Last Monday night some Visions folks did compline for a chaplains conference over at St Johns college in York.
As the text we were given two beatitudes, "happy are the poor in spirit" and "happy are those who mourn".
So, for the creative prayer activity I scattered lots of broken, unwanted and useless things around. Old circuit boards,
and bits and pieces from our recycling box. Cans, bottles, crisp packets etc.

I was slightly worried at the start of the service that the whole thing looked a bit messy really. There was a pile of rubbish at the front of the church (even though there was supposed to be a pile of rubbish scattered at the front of the church!) The instructions on the slide, when the time came to pray, said this...
"There are various pieces of “rubbish” scattered around...Broken things and empty things.
If you wish to, light one of the candles on or in these items as a prayer
for someone who is feeling empty, broken or unwanted at the moment. "

We had tealights placed on or in the cans, and tealights in holders, placed on the more flammable, or melt-able items such as crisp packets etc which people could light as their prayer.

The thing that really struck me though was the transformation. It had been so mundane and ugly. And once the candles were lit it became so beautiful. The rubbish was truly transformed.