Here is the church
When I was little, my mum taught me how to do this one.
It’s a bit tricky with the fingers, so don’t worry if it takes a while to learn.
My family is not religious, but I grew up in England where there are looooootttttsssss of old churches and whenever we explored a new town, we always stepped inside the old church to see the tall ceilings and stained glass windows.
Churches can be beautiful buildings full of important history, art and often, wonderful music made by lots of people working together.
(Jump right to the end for a video of the new version.
You’ll get help with your fingers too!)
Here is the church.
A traditional children’s poem
Here is the church and
is the steeple.
Open up the doors and
Here are the people.
Photo by Chris Lawton, UK
Church of Hallgrímur, Reykjavík, Iceland, 1940
Photo by Annie Spratt, UK
Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona
Photo by Victor Malyushev, Russia
Inside a church in Vienna, Austria
Photo by Sung Jin Cho, Seoul, Korea.
In this picture we can see new windows in an old church.
We know it’s an old church because of the style of the stone carvings, especially if they look a bit worn down and smudged, because that’s what happens to old stone after a long time: it starts to wear down…certainly if it’s outside in the wind and rain!
So how did people make those faces in such hard stone all those years ago?
Have a look here!
And how do they make those amazing windows?????
Here’s Jan Czugalinski to show us.
Why do churches even have a steeple?
Well…a long time ago, the church steeple was the tallest thing in town. So, if people were a bit lost, they could just look up at the steeple and figure out where they where and where they had to go next.
It also meant everyone knew where the church was…so they could never say they didn’t know how to get there on a Sunday!
But…steeples also have bells in them: a clock on the outside, for everyone to see and bells on the inside, for everyone to hear.
For many many years, those bells were rung by people pulling on ropes running through the ceiling and up into the tower. It was something people did together, something important for the community.
Just like these people at Buckfast Abbey in England.
Did you see the bells in the tower?
Here was can see a new bell being tested in the bell-making factory.
Could you do that?
And here, we have something quite different: a Carillon.
These bells don’t use ropes, but wires and are played kind-of like an organ. Well, an organ you hit very very hard with your fists. So…not really like an organ!
So…church bells make amazing music that people hear for miles and miles around.
But, there is also stunning music made inside churches as well.
Here is one of my favorite ever pieces of music sung in a church!
Listen to the echo made by the hard stone and the way the singers use that to make their sound even more beautiful. That echo happens because of how the building was made and all the people who built it over hundreds of years, wanted to make that echo so that they could create these gorgeous sounds together.
It can certainly make a person glad to be alive!
In the old days, everyone had to go to church and if they didn’t, there could be a lot of trouble.
The church was boss!
But these days churches are mostly visited by people of religious faith, or those interested in
buildings, art and history.
Because I like doing this little rhyme my mum taught me allllll those years ago,
I thought we’d make it last a bit longer…
and visit some other important places along the way.
Here is the Church
extended by Kylie van Dam