Anglican Cathedral in Second Life Grows for Its Parishoners

Aside from services at the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life (SLurl), or when I’m lighting a candle for a friend in SL or RL who’s in need, I don’t get much over to Epiphany region.  This is a pity, because it’s gotten even more beautiful over the months from when I first visited there and did a short photo essay.  As you’ll notice from those old exterior shots, about the only thing on the crest of the island besides the cathedral itself was the Tudor-inspired Parish House, which served as a meeting house and office complex as well.

Cathedral Plaza 1 Cathedral Plaza 2 Conference Center exterior

That has now changed.  What had been mostly open stone now has been planted around with flowers and trees; equipped with benches, chairs and fountains; and decorated with an ongoing exhibit of art.  And a grey stone conference center stands behind the Parish House.

Conference center (ground floor) 1 Conference center (ground floor) 2 Conference Center (back porch)

An Anglican tradition!

The ground floor is rather informal in nature; think of it as a place you can socialize in between discussions.  About the most “formal” part of it is the seal of the Anglican Communion on the wall near the front door.  Comfortable chairs are scattered about the room, a radio plays for your entertainment, and there’s a video screen in the back of the room.  Out the back door, you’ll find a deck with a pair of rockers and a heater stove, ready for relaxation on a cool night.  Oh, and there’s (of course) the grand ol’ tradition of the Anglicans:  hospitality.  (I quote the Rev. Will B. Dunn, from Kudzu:  “How come, every time the Episcopalians call a time out in an inter-church basketball game, they take 30 minutes for coffee and doughnuts?”)

conference Center (Discussion area) Art exhibit area A beautiful conference table

The second floor is reached by stairs or teleport; it’s a touch more formal up here.  I think this is where the Bible study group meets now, and part of the proof is the table in the center of the circle of chairs, with a notecard bearing the Gospel text of the day.  In the next room, though, you’ll find something else — at least for the present:  another art exhibit.  The item in the foreground of the second picture even uses textures in motion to create its effect; you have to take a good look at it and enjoy it.  The room’s centerpiece is a conference table with the Jerusalem Cross inlaid into the surface, and also serving as the pedestal; there are no vertical legs to the piece.  I don’t think this table would be possible in Real Life, at least not as a practical, usable table; it just wouldn’t be stable enough.  Here in Second Life, that is no problem.

The Gargoyle

One item of art I just discovered that’s not in the official exhibit:  this fellow here.  You can’t have a cathedral without a gargoyle, after all; it’s in the rules.  You don’t have to worry about rain in Second Life, but a Gothic cathedral needs a Gothic gargoyle to be complete.

Meditation Chapel Meditation chapel (narthex) Chapel interior 1

Chapel interior 2 Oculus window Chapel (clerestory)

The rest of the island is becoming as beautiful as the top of the hill.  For instance, there is this small meditation chapel down near the shore, with a lovely garden to its side.  Inside, you’ll find a roomy narthex with a fireplace and a painting of an angel.  Only two chairs here; the main seating is in the chancel proper — pews decorated with Celtic motifs.  Up above you and the cross is a simple rose window; but the main part of the light comes from the Gothic-arch windows to the sides in the clerestory-balcony level, which you can reach with a teleporter.  There’s not much here; however, behind me in the last photo, there is a room toward the front of the chapel, behind a sort of “stained glass” door, which contains several meditation pillows.

Bridges Bridges 2

Water features abound here, giving an excuse for some arch bridges.  But one of the nicest spots is the small bridge in the second photo here, which is the last in the chain seen in the first.  At the back is a little waterfall that forms the stream the bridges jump over.  You can even go under the rocks, and find another meditation pillow there; have a seat and let yourself go as you listen to the sound of the moving water.

Come on and explore for yourself.  Better, come on and join in a service.  The schedule of services and activities is available at the cathedral blog, or on a sign outside the cathedral itself.

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