Space and Place: A Mini-tour of New England Churches and Temples

I recently took a weekend trip up to Exeter, NH to visit my mother. It was so nice to get out of the city and see a little more of quaint, small-town New England, particularly with a light snow falling. (I’ve subsequently had repeated visions of myself making some sort of living where I could hang out in quaint New England coffee shops all day, writing and musing about whatever caught my fancy; and/or opening my own bookstore which would serve complimentary and endless cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows).

I unfortunately didn’t catch the names/exact locations of the churches below because I was literally jumping out of the car on the way to the train station to snap quick pics. I’ll have to look them up next time I’m back.
Exeter5

Exeter6

Exeter3

Exeter4

And below are a couple of the gorgeous Jewish temples in my own neighborhood in Brookline, MA that I have the pleasure of walking by several times a week.

Congregation Kehillath Israel (I’ve attended one service here and the interior is just as stunning as the outside!):

Temple2

Temple3

And Temple Ohabei Shalom:

Temple

Temple1

(I like the zebra mitten in this photo).

Boston has so many amazing religious spaces…I feel like I frequently will turn a corner and suddenly encounter a great big stone beauty of a building that I had no idea even existed. The architecture of religious spaces, and particularly interfaith spaces, is something I hope to have more time to study after I graduate (in just 2 short months, insha’llah!).

I would be happy to hear about any religious spaces you find particularly beautiful, interesting, or inspiring!

2 Comments

  • Reply March 10, 2013

    Rachel

    I love to see the beautiful temples in your neighborhood. Interestingly enough, I typically find the more small, quiet, and out-of-the-way churches more spiritually uplifting. The Notre-Dame’s and cathedrals of the world are quite beautiful, but never move my spirit. Have you been to Saint Thomas More in Norman? The main sanctuary is kind if blah, but I love the outdoor garden and small chapel.

    • Reply March 11, 2013

      Chelsea Scudder

      Rachel, I have been to Saint Thomas More and I remember thinking the same thing about the garden. I agree that the small, quiet churches are often more evoking of a spiritual sensation, rather than perhaps amazement at the architectural design or artwork. I was thinking about it and wondering if it has something to do with a stronger sense of community and maybe also an intentional community that tends to their church, even though maybe it’s not something that will draw in onlookers or tourists or what have you. Like at Saint Thomas More, the fact that the garden is important and that what you notice is a small chapel instead of a grandiose structure. Somehow it feels like a more intimate space that draws a lot of its beauty from the presence of the people who inhabit it and bring with them all of the beauty and complexity and messiness of faith.

Leave a Reply