|St Paul's Cathedral|
Being in these sacred places and listening to the sacred music made me think of the millions who sat in these place before me, royal and common, devout or politically motivated, with self-interest or the good of the world at the heart of their intention. I also wondered at and about the churches themselves, the sculpture, stained glass, paintings and architecture. So much beauty.
We visited other churches on our travels in Paris and London: Sainte Chappel, St. Louis I'lles, St Etiene, St. John the Baptist in Berford, Saxon Saint Kenselm in Lovell, chapels in Oxford. Are there modern day equivalents? I can think of none. Our common spaces are less divine and not built to last centuries: coliseums, shopping centres, subway cars, parks. Less permanent and ambitious. Less divine.
Today people with great wealth to bequeath tend to sponsor universities and hospitals to be remembered, and churches are careful not to flaunt their riches with so many who need help in their daily lives. A recent exception is the Aga Khan Centre in Toronto that opens gardens and a museum to the public September 18... today, in fact.