Published on April 19th, 2016 | by Balanced Family
The Important History of Church Steeples
Churches are often placed at the center of town. For Christian societies, these are the centers of the community and have been central to the planning of the city or town for centuries. Most people who are familiar with the history of the Christian church know that this was not always the way things were. For the first few hundred years, worshippers did so in private homes. There were no church steeple plans or pews. When it started, Christians had to worship on the down low. This is because it was illegal to practice Christianity for the religion’s first three centuries.
As Christianity was made legal and then accepted more and more, churches began to be built. All churches now contain a steeple. The church steeple plans seem to date back to the time when Constantine made the conversion to Christianity and brought the Roman Empire with him. Originally, these symbols may have been used in Egyptian structures such as obelisks. Some have speculated that Constantine’s Rome was infatuated with the Egyptian obelisk so they took it over and modified it when they started designing church steeple plans.
One thing that no one has ever questioned is the way the lines seem to point to the heavens and God. The theory is that by looking upwards put people into a better and more appropriate frame of mind for worship. If you look at the church steeple plans, you can see your eyes are, indeed, drawn upward. The church steeple plans are meant to augment those of the entire structure. The stained glass depicts scenes from the Bible. The church bells are said to be set so high as to reach a greater number of people, calling them home to worship. The taller the church steeple plans are, for instance, the more elegant the building is.
Once the church steeple designs became commonplace, these buildings took on the role as the tallest building in the parish and could be seen from great distances away. This served to solidify the church’s position as not just the physical center but the spiritual heart of the community. Newcomers to the community would know immediately where to find the church and go to get to know people in the area. Their bells announced to the community the start of services or whatever other events were being held there.
Church steeple crosses were added at some point and have become fairly ubiquitous. Church steeples were also seen to do more than draw the eye upwards and prepare a person for worship but they also protected the parish from evil spirits. Many people had thought that evil spirits were attracted to churches and church steeple plans got several additions such as the crosses and gargoyles, which are also thought to protect worshippers from harm.
Church steeples therefore have a number of purposes within the church itself. They offer a majestic look to the building, they tell people when it is time to worship and they helped protect worshippers from harm from evil spirits who would find the steeple to hard to inhabit.
While we no longer live in a society where there is only one church in the community, it still plays an important role for many people. In the United States, 40% of people say they are religious. This is according to recent Gallup polls. These people say it is an important part of their day-to -day lives and report attending church services one or more times a week.
If your church is undergoing any kind of renovation, it is important that you maintain the original church steeple plans. More than any other part of the structure, this is directly linked to the church’s history and identity. If yours is a truly old church, it might have stood when the church steeple was the tallest building in the region making it important to local history as well as church history.
Unfortunately, what makes the church stand out to people also makes it attractive to lightening and damage from wind and rain. If this happens, it might be necessary to repair or replace it. Luckily, both options are possible and very doable under just about any budget.