Took a tour Saturday of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on Amsterdam Street in New York City.
The church takes up a whole city block and totals 121,000 square feet inside.
I’m still baffled and intrigued by the church push for size. At least the megachurches that want thousands of members can say that growing that size enables them to raise more money and, theoretically, help more people.
But why would you set out to build a church of infinite size? I say infinite because nobody is really sure how big St. John the Divine is supposed to be. It’s nickname is “St. John the Unfinished.”
Construction began in 1892, and continued periodically until 1941. Construction resumed in the 1980s and stopped in 1997, but as our tour guide made clear, the cathedral isn’t finished. Who knows when construction will begin again, but the church has discussed two towers and even a third tower to rise from where a dome has capped the cathedral.
And our guide made it VERY clear that St. John is “bigger than St. Patrick’s,” the famed NYC Catholic Church. He must have said “we’re bigger” four or five times.
I still don’t quite get it. I’ll be writing more on this through the week.