Tuesday, 20 December 2011

December 20th, 2011 - Tuesday

Location: Midland Hotel, near the café
Designer: Martie Newton - Honorary Secretary of the Manchester Branch of the Council of Christians and Jews - www.ccjmanchester.org

Location Notes: One of the iconic hotels of Manchester that over the course of 100+ years has hosted many a celebrity and royalty as well. Its Grade II* listed grand red-brick facade protects an opulent interior. It was built by the Midland Railway Company in 1903 to serve the Manchester Central railway station behind and started life with a covered walkway between the two (demolished after WWII). It was famously the meeting place of Mr Rolls and Mr Royce, leading to the formation of Rolls-Royce Ltd in 1906.

Shrine Notes: The shrine represents the two festivals of Advent-Christmas and Hanukkah. Both celebrate with symbolic lights God’s gracious intervention in our lives to bring peace, joy, a fresh beginning and renewed relationships with Him and with one another. For those who are willing He brings great things from small beginnings: the oil for the Temple lamp, the baby born in obscure poverty, cups of tea shared by those who hoped to become friends. Will you let the Light in to your life or someone else’s? Who will you invite to tea?

Designer Notes: As the label explains, this was the site of a meeting over afternoon tea at the height of the Second World War. The Nazi regime was carrying out its hateful policy of eliminating all things “other”, especially, but not exclusively, the Jews. There was a need to seek reconciliation and friendship between Christians and Jews after centuries of mistrust and worse. From this small beginning the Council of Christians and Jews was formed: a national and now, international, body.

Feel free to write about your thoughts and experiences with this shrine, or how you've seen people using it, as a comment (see below) or tweet @sanctus1mcr.

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