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Dear Friends,

During the October holidays Laura and I spent 6 nights in Barcelona. We were able to visit some of the more famous sights including the Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia, which were both designed by the famous Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudi (1852 – 1926). We also saw from the outside a number of other buildings that he had designed.

Although he designed many famous buildings he is particularly remembered for the Sagrada Familia, the Church of the Holy Family. Work began on the Basilica in 1882 and Gaudi was commissioned a year later when the original architect resigned. Initially he also worked on a number of other projects, but from 1915 until his death in 1926 he devoted himself solely to work on the Sagrada. When he died it was less than 25% complete. Work has continued according to his plans but came to a halt because of the Spanish Civil War and progressed very slowly for many years. It is anticipated that it will be finished in 2026 to coincide with the centenary of Gaudi’s death.

Gaudi was a deeply spiritual man with a great love for both of God’s Word and his creation, both of which he incorporated into the design of the Sagrada Familia. The building really is stunning. Photographs don’t do it justice. You really need to see it for yourself to even begin to appreciate its beauty and majesty. There are many amazing features, but his understanding of colour and light and how to make the most of them with the positioning, shaping and the stained glass have an incredible effect. Many of the visitors (including us) were taking photographs of the effect of standing where the light was shining on them.

That reminded me of the Apostle John’s encouragement to his readers in his first epistle: “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live in the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:4-7)

As people stood in the light shining into the Sagrada Familia their appearance was physically transformed. As we come into the light of God, and learn to walk in the light our character will be transformed into his likeness. May we experience that to be true in our lives and may his light be reflected from us into the lives of others.

Colin A. Strong