Lighting Orton Church

At Orton Church, Cumbria, the space between the nave and chancel is nicely illuminated by natural light. It was a gloomy day, and as I write this, a gloomy time of year, so I am in a better place to appreciate generous lighting. Many older churches have clerestory windows running along the top of the nave to admit additional light, but Orton seems to have constructed what I can only describe as skylights, the kind one might have in a domestic attic. Although closer inspection denudes them of stylistic value, their effect is quite splendid. Light is shone where light is most needed- over the pulpit and over the lectern, from where God’s word is preached and read.

Whatever increase in knowledge one attains in life, whatever degree of expertise, experience, expression and expansion, enlarge your knowledge of God’s word. That alone will offer comfort on the dark night, assistance when all other advice fails and will give us confidence when eyes fail and death comes a-creeping, and the silver cord is loosed.

Light of those whose dreary dwelling
Borders on the shades of death,
Come, and, thy bright beams revealing,
Dissipate the clouds beneath.
The new heaven’s and earth’s Creator,
In our deepest darkness rise,
Scattering all the night of nature,
Pouring day upon our eyes.

-Charles Wesley, in Gadsby's Hymns, No 1057