Visited Durham Cathedral for the first time last summer, and quite an impressive edifice it is too, embodying a millenium of Christian worship on a single site.
It also features in Stuart Maconie's travelogue around the north of England "Pies and Prejudice" that I have been reading recently, and whilst he shows little awareness of a "spiritual" dimension to life elsewhere in the book, he writes this about Durham Cathedral...
"...it is truly stunning. I thought, as I always do when entering one of those places, of how powerful, how ferrifying even, the presence of God must have been in the lives of rich and poor alike to make them build these edifices - not just build them, but so skilfully and impressively, that just entering makes you feel oddly godly. The sheer authority of the place almost forces you to your knees, like a giant hand on your shoulder. Durham Cathedral is religious certainty written in unyielding stone and stained glass; a vast, daunting embodiment of an unprovable, abstract idea..."
It made me think. What do our church buildings today say about our understanding of God?