Thursday, 26 November 2015

Reflections: New Cal Churches

I think it's the Catholic upbringing in me, I absolutely LOVE churches, temples or any religious artifacts!  So any travel adventures bring opportunities for visiting churches and cathedrals.  On our last holiday to New Caledonia, I snapped these images.
Often our religious beliefs are set in our childhood, and after being persecuted by our local church for being a divorced mother, our mother told us that you did not need to go to church to be a good person.  She told us that our body was the Temple of the Lord, take care to keep it clean.  It was good advice!

G. K Chesterton wrote: "Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car."

Still though, I like to visit these places.  I find them compellingly beautiful, calming, peaceful places when they are empty, clean and pure.  There seems to be an essence reflected in these walls - perhaps all those souls having gathered there to pray, over time, collectively, and finding their own solace and peace within.

Details on the stone wall of the stunningly beautiful Saint Joseph's Cathedral in Noumea.

Nature adds Value!

High on a hill, the cathedral towers over the city of Noumea, building started in 1888.

Built to accommodate 1000 people, late-comers stand at the entrance.

Beautiful stained glass windows throw colourful light into a gloomy cavernous interior.

Under Sunny Skies

Monument of a French soldier?

Such architectural details flanking the cathedral....

The Blessed Virgin Mary!

Another stunning stained glass window
What amazes me, is that much of all these wondrous pieces of architecture had to be shipped all the way from Mother France!

An informal outdoor waiting room...

It is thrilling to imagine how these massive monoliths were built back in the day, when there were possibly no light-frame aluminium ladders, concrete mixers and a handy hardware store just down the road!!
Stumbling across another meeting house in Mont Dore...

The gated church invites you  in only on Sundays!

That clear blue Pacific Island sky...

For Whom the Bell Tolls....?

Another church on the way to La Foa, sitting in the shimmering sun

Mary pronounces that this is indeed, yet another Catholic stronghold!

Simple and magnificent.  Simply magnificent!

Reminiscent of the Rising Sun!

The swallows (on ceiling) joyfully dive-bombed us, showing off their aeronautical acrobatics!

These cool interior churches are welcome respite from the heat.

The Catholic School next door... Notre Dame.

Lifou Island churches going to the dogs....!

The carving welcomes patrons to the church car park

Humble interior.

Another simple, stunning stain-glass window.

I love this view from the church!


Another church on Lifou, huddled close to the beach.

Protestant Church resembling a castle!

Passing sultry sky-line.

The side entrance and bell-pull.

A window reflected in a window...

Windows in windows, and hidden self portrait.

Another humble interior, no less appealing...

Woven mats for sitting on the cool tiled floor.

Something about these colours remind me of Greece...!

It appears as if the church will tumble into the sea beyond...

Strolling to church along the beach....

Standing below the statue of Mary, looking out over Noumea harbor...

Majestic Mary

The Sacred Heart.

Remember, whatever your faith, take heed: your body is your temple, take care what you put in it and how you care for it!