Lessons from the Suva Cathedral

Suva Cathedral -half English, half Fijian

‘Without God our week is Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday, Shatterday and Sinday. So allow him to be with you everyday!’

Archbishop Winston greeted everyone at the Suva Cathedral before he was to perform a funeral there. He told the story of the English experts coming to build their Suva Cathedral, designed with windowless walls to keep it warm and with a high skylight to let the snow run off! On completing this stage of the Cathedral a crisis then arose.

No more money and the half completed Cathedral stood as is for the next 20-years.

Inside: the altar area with no windows! and the back half adapted to Fijian conditions with windows!!

But a crisis doesn’t mean the end, it can merely be a chance for God to enter the situation. And God did, for 20-years later the Church was completed. However without the presumption of what works in England can be replicated effectively in another culture. Now adapting to local conditions the back half of the church incorporated windows to allow a cool breeze to flow through the church.

And the lesson for us Golden Oldies is not to presume we have the answers for their needs. Observe, listen, inquire and together the group with the local church can determine the best ways to help these mission projects, and people’s lives.

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