Walking along Ludgate Hill Street we had just rounded the corner and two young fellows who accompanied me caught first sight of the magnificent columns and sky scratching dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral. “Wow, look at that!” This structure still takes one’s breath away.
450 years ago Sir Christopher Wren surveyed the effect of The Great Fire that had devastated much of the city, and laid to ruins this church. Today evidence of Wren’s superior skill can be found throughout London, but none more impressive than St. Paul’s. Einstein said, “If you can’t imagine it you can’t do it.” As Wren stood on this very spot staring at the ruins with his feet sifting through the charred ground his imagination took him to the place where few could go. And now today, centuries later, men and women are still catching their breath at the sight of his masterpiece.
Looking at this crazy world I sometimes catch myself entering a cloud of despair. Despair is a very real option. But then so is hope; a hope fuelled by a picture of a far better world. Wren wrote that his architecture “aims at eternity”. The counter to the despair, I feel must be hope… hope for a fairer, more just, more compassionate world. And the aim of that hope must lay beyond what we currently know as our reality and on towards eternity. Like Wren, we must stand with one foot firmly shifting through the ruins while permitting our ambitions to soar towards eternity. (*The year was 1669)
LCA exists to help us imagine and work towards a better world. In subsequent posts we will tell of various ways this is possible.