Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Memorial to Love

The Church of the Angels looks large from the outside, but Kelly, my tourguide, told me it holds only about 130 people "tightly packed." In part, the church was meant to be a place of worship for the people of the village of Garvanza, now the section of Los Angeles surrounded by South Pasadena, Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Pasadena.

But mainly this church was built by Mrs. Alexander Robert Campbell-Johnston as a memorial to her husband. She had the the means to demonstrate her love in a most impressive way. Expensive appointments abound; in the photo you can see the red pressed brick of the walls and beginnings of the upper redwood beams. The lectern resembling the Archangel Michael was carved in Belgium from a solid piece of a bog oak tree more than 400 years old. The baptistry, with a figure of Italian marble holding a font of Mexican alabaster, was a gift from the workmen who built the church. (I'm saving the stained glass window for tomorrow.)

In front of the church, a stone sundial in a heart-shaped setting is a memorial to Mrs. Campbell-Johnston, donated by her sons. And over the years, the congregation has maintained the whole place with care.

Money made the place impressive, but it's the love that makes it special.

14 comments:

Miss Havisham said...

This is a romantic testament.

USelaine said...

The craftsman details are lovely.

As is your code pink, I mean, pink head shot.

marley said...

I love the last line of your post. (I gave me goose bumps.) I think that is true in all aspects of life.

The church is beautiful. The detail inside is lovely. I'm looking forward to the stained glass.

Keith said...

These are beautiful photo's of the church, especially the look of the brick and wood work. I'm looking forward to the stained glass also.

Petrea said...

I'll bet you've been there, Miss H.

Here's what USElaine means by code pink.

Thank you, Marley. Your church photo today is a beauty, too.

Thanks, Keith. It's well worth a visit if you're passing through.

Katie said...

Amazing story of Mrs. Campbell-Johnston building this in memory of her husband. The interior is just beautiful! All that lovely brick and detail work in amazing. Very nice that your friend Kelly was able to show you around.

Miss Havisham said...

Kelly is a local gem of a woman. To know her is to love her. Just like Petrea, and Palm Axis are local women I treasure.

Petrea said...

Not to mention Miss Havisham!

Dina said...

My kind of place. Thanks for this guided tour. The angels seem to be guiding you, Petrea.
Hymnals in the backs of the pews--novel idea!

Parisian Heart said...

Petrea, do you have any idea how much I adore churches?!? I'm really enjoying your photos of this one. In this particular photo, I see numerous details I appreciate -- the beautiful floor, the grill work in the foreground, the text (and its design) on the wall ... Really lovely.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Recently, I came upon Dina's blog, and your name had appeared several times. Not that I'm narcissistic, or am I?, I had so wanted to visit your blog. Thankfully, I did because being on the east coast, I don't often have the chance to visit as many cities as I'd like on the west coast. Your blog offers a wonderful opportunity to. It's lovely. Thank you for letting me drop by. Continued success in your endeavors, Petrea!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Recently, I came upon Dina's blog, and your name had appeared several times. Not that I'm narcissistic, or am I?, I had so wanted to visit your blog. Thankfully, I did because being on the east coast, I don't often have the chance to visit as many cities as I'd like on the west coast. Your blog offers a wonderful opportunity to. It's lovely. Thank you for letting me drop by. Continued success in your endeavors, Petrea!

Bernie K. said...

Forgive Petra Michelle; she's in the glassy vestibule of the local diocese & there's an echo.

Petrea said...

Dina, I haven't spent much time in church since I was a kid except as a tourist. But I remember the hymnal for the pew I sat in was in the back of the pew in front of me. I wonder where the front pew got its hymnals?

Parisian Heart, despite my previous statement, I, too, love churches. I'm drawn to the mystery of their interiors. The more ancient, the better! European churches especially. And Dina had one on her blog that was in a cave.

Petra (lovely name), I could delete one of your duplicate comments but Bernie's comment wouldn't make any sense. (That might be fun.) Thank you for stopping by. I think you and I have some similar interests. I'll come and spend more time on your blog one of these days.