Friday, February 18, 2011

Sunday Stills:Old Churches and Graveyards

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Old Churches and Graveyards

Some people go to church three times in their lives. The first and last, they were carried there. Some joke that the second time, they too were carried there especially men.

Except for My Fair Lady's Eliza's dad. He was so anxious to " So get me to the church on time."


This is at 429 Upper Queen Street. The Baptist Tabernacle or The Tab was our home church for more than ten years before we left for Singapore.

We were married in this church,
We were baptised here, and sadly we had our son Andrew's funeral service here.
We made live long friends here.

The organ is a beautiful instrument.

***Pix were taken by our friend Paul Khor***





This Church is worthed a million. Do people still built them like this? Then it is sharing it's premises with other churches. Located along Dominion Road, just before the Balmoral Road junction. One would not normally see it if you are riding in the car as it is located down the valley and hiddened by giant trees. I was on my on mission to photograph buildings and things I could use for my blog when I saw this. In 1885 James Paice donated the land where the original wooden part of the church was built in two months at a cost of five hundred pounds.
http://www.saintalbans.org.nz/
At the geographical heart of Auckland City, tucked up against Dominion Road, we find a quietly beautiful church, an historic building. This is the Church of Saint Alban Martyr, Balmoral. This is a good place to spend time, praying, reading, growing closer to God, browsing through pictures of our forebears who wielded pick and shovel to build our foundations, learning our history, or exploring our roots, or wander outside beneath the gracious oak trees, or under the homely shade of the pohutukawa. Best of all share the worship of a small hospitable people who love God and seek to know him and each other more deeply. This is an Anglican church built by Pakeha. Rather fittingly it now extends open arms to congregations of emigrant families. Other Anglicans from Tikanga Polynesia, Hindi speaking Anglicans whose Parish is called Anugrah (Grace), Tongan Anglicans who call themselves Ngoue Iteni (New Eden), but also Serbian (Holy King Milutin), and Indian Orthodox (Saint Dionysius). This is a place which lives in a timeless tradition of hospitality and outreach in the world wide Christian communion of faith and hope.
Think history, religious ancestry and a building that holds together the joys and sorrows of more than six generations of worshippers.
The large brick front, tall Norman tower and Gothic arches — it almost looks like two churches joined together. As you approach the front of the church you see a fine Romanesque-style sanctuary while the nave at the back is so typically Gothic of the Victorian period. Made in the architectural likeness of the ancient St Alban’s Cathedral Abbey in England, its no wonder that this historic monument has been called for preservation.


In this little grave lies a loved child at Okahu Bay. The parents must have chosen this to represent themselves. It is heart breaking to have to bury your child. I know, I did this 21 years ago.


This is a very old Chinese Grave found next the Sarawak Museum in Kuching. You don't find many of these big graves today especially in land scarced Singapore and Hongkong. In these two countries, the dead are exhumed to make way for the living.

These graves are called armchairs, It looks like a sofa seat. It is the chair of a very important official of the king's court. It is commonly believed that when a man is alive, he may be lowly peasant, but when he dies he can still be an official of the king. Therefore, no expense is spared to build the grave.

The other reason is the Chinese used to ( they still do) worship their ancestors, and pray to them to look after them and bless them. My Grandfather used to tell us, when a disaster had been avoided, it is because our ancestors have been seated high up, so he could see afar and take care of us. The dead doesn't sleep, so he is sitted in the arm chair. if he was sleeping, he couldn't be taking care of us. A good grave site is high up the slopes of the hills where he could see far far away.


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19 comments:

Ginny said...

The churches are beautiful! The dead are exhumed to make way for the living?? Then where do they put them? Don't the relatives have to pay for the burial griund, so how can the grave be removed if the family paid for it?

Ginny said...

I love your bird's nest and especailly the giant spider web on the playground!

Gattina said...

To me there were only two churches. the catholic one and the Protestant church based on Luther. In Belgium there are only catholics the rest is considered as sects ! I had never seen so many different churches in my whole life than when we went to the States !! I couldn't believe it ! at each corner was another church with another name, and all that for one God ! Crazy !

Karin said...

Very interesting and educational post! Beautiful churches! I'll have to google a little more about the exhuming or possible relocation of graves to make way for progress of the city!

Ann said...

Ginny,
They convert the cemeteries into apartment blocks for the living. In Singapore, the graves don't belong to you for ever. After some time, you have to exhume and then cremate the remains. Karin, do google it, I googled before.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Ann, Very Interesting post especially the part about the armchair graves:)

threecollie said...

Very interesting post, Ann. The little child's monument is so sad!

Ed said...

Excelllent post and neat history lesson and pics..:-)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Very interesting. I always like your perspective and stories, even the sad ones.

flowerweaver said...

Fascinating history on the Chinese graves, and to see such diversity. I liked the two puppy dogs embracing.

MTWaggin said...

I love the child's grave marker! I found here too, that back in teh 1800s indeed the land of the dead was moved to make room for th living. That first cemetery I have photos from has remains from an original cemetery just across from the catherdral in the photo...where they erected 2 schools.

Brenda said...

quite a history lesson. yes, markers of young children are so sad. sorry you had to go through this sadness.

gtyyup said...

How interesting to read about another part of the world...so very different. Well done.

aurora said...

Very interesting, especially the Chinese armchair site.

Jama said...

I remembered seeing such grand chinese graves before the Bishan MRT was build,used to pass them on my way to/from work. Now, all gone, being taken over by new flat.

Y. Ikeda said...

I admire how Chinese treat their ancestors and we, Japanese, tend to do so in our own way...
Thanks for sharing.

Mountain Mama said...

I just found your blog through Reduce Footprints. You have a lovely blog with beautiful pictures. I'm so sorry to hear about your son. No parent should ever have to bury their child. My mother died young and I know it was heartbreaking for my grandmother.
I will be following your blog now and look forward to reading all of your future posts.

~ jennifer :)

Arija said...

The Russian Orthodox church looks most unrussian without an onion shaped cupola.

Ann, I spend no time at all in the garden as I also have no time at all to just relax, I am 74 years old and sole carer for my dear old Prof who has developed Alzheimer's. My beloved garden is going to rack and ruin.

scarves said...

Scarves Scarves
These pictures really beautiful, in which station to collect it?Oh darling,what happy images. loved them.