Decorated & Perpendicular, Ancient & Modern

At St Botolph’s Church at Newton, Lincolnshire, are built together two large windows. The one on the right is from the decorated period, which we might roughly date 1250-1350; the one of the left is of the perpendicular style, which blossomed from the 1370s until the 1500s. I suspect that it is from about 1500, when arches lost their curvature. When it was added to the wall, or when that entire wall was built, the other, larger window must have felt terribly old fashioned, a dated and archaic style which the ancestors thought stylish.

To 21st century people, both styles are antiquated, dated and archaic, relics from a long-gone age. Like reading those German Higher Critics of the Bible in 1890 decrying miracles, or fashionable liberal preachers in the 1960s questioning ‘dogma’, that which is ‘modern’ quickly becomes old hat. Whatever philosophies, world-views and theories the intelligentsia- and many churches- currently espouse and esteem, their freshness will soon go, making them appear out-of-date and peculiar. Better to hold faithfully to God’s word and appear old fashioned than cling to some worthless, humanistic mantra which quickly wilts and turns putrid.

For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Ps 100:5, NKJV