Restoration of Sacred Art in the Inner City

An inner city project which has inspired other parishes to renovate and decorate their churches throughout Southern California

Heritage Liturgical Charity February 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm
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Project Description

There’s something sacred going on in Inglewood… Sacred Art.
On a grand scale.

St. John Chrysostom’s is a community dedicated to the glory of God.  The church has been undecorated since its founding in 1959, and survived a drastic wreckovation in the 1990s which saw the destruction of its marble altars, communion rail, and baptistry.

Since this is a poor parish, the renovation and restoration of the church has been funded mainly by persons living outside the parish boundries.
Today, the Sanctuary of St. John Chrysostom church in Inglewood, California, is almost complete.
But this parish still needs your help.

A SHORT HISTORY

Several years ago, Saint John Chrysostom was a church where the main altar had been smashed, the communion rail demolished, the altar area carpeted over, and the entire church painted a dark combination of greens, with mustard yellow and burgundy accents in the coffers.  The baptistry had been repurposed as a prayer room, and a “tub” was placed within the sanctuary, near the altar.  A white piano inhabited the Sanctuary space, and the pulpit was virtually abandoned.

But a new heart led the community to return the church to its true purpose, and to physically and visually demonstrate the joy of the Gospel, and the Glory of God… to be and feel “Church” again!

And so it began…

THE RESTORATION

A new altar was built based on the original 1959 altar which had been destroyed.

The rebuilding of the communion rail came about with pieces of the original balustrade, which were scattered throughout the church property.  They were found, collected, and reconstructed.  One solid piece of white Calacatta Gold Italian marble at a time.

The “baptismal tub” was removed from the Sanctuary, and the Baptistry became a Baptistry again, with its massive, original and restored, beautiful white italian marble as the Font.

Musical instruments all went back to the existing, large, spacious loft.

The Sanctuary became, once again, a focused and orderly place of prayer with Christ as focal point.

That was 6 years ago, when this project of renewal started.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

Every year, as funds permit, another part of the ongoing project is completed.  Everything is funded by donations ONLY!

First the painting of the church interior — to do away with the green!

Then decorating the coffers.  All 404 of them!

Then painting a mural on the dome of the Virgin and Christ Child in glory.

Then decorating the rest of the Apse…

More recently, hundreds of stars in 22k gold leaf were painted onto the walls of the Apse, framing the composition, and pointing to the Altar and Tabernacle as the central most important “feature” or element in the church building.

Today, two Large Eucharistic Panels in the Apse (Sponsorhip 22k) have being completed.  The panels depict Christ teaching in Capharnaum, and revealing himself at Emmaus.

WHAT’s NEEDED

St. John’s has been judicious about every penny spent, but money has very simply run out!  These are the elements to be completed in the Sanctuary:

– the 2 side-altars’ mural and gilding decoaration (11k)
– the top of the triumphal arch over the Altar (5k deficit)
– the decoation around St. John Chrysostom (1k deficit)
– the decoration around the marble pulpit (2k)

All St. John’s needs is just over $19,000 to bring the Sanctuary to completion!

Below you can see some photos of the incredible restoration and decoration already created for the Glory of God at St. John’s.

Please consider this project, and give generously!

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