Catholic parish celebrates 15 years of church
St John the Baptist Parish is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the dedication of its Woy Woy church on November 18.
The current parish newsletter describes the reasons behind its design, which has many liturgical symbols.
The church is built around the idea of the Christian as pilgrim.
The pebble surface that begins at the pedestrian gate continues under the covered way, through the main doors and the gathering space to the pews, and is also visible around the altar, ambo and chair.
At the entry to the worship space, the doors have the words (in four languages) from the pilgrim psalm 120 (8): "The Lord will guard your going and coming, both now and forever."
The gathering spaces doubles as a devotional space, an area for private devotions.
There are the Way of the Cross and chapels in honour of the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin, St Joseph and St Anthony.
Inside, the stained glass draws attention to the patron, Saint John the Baptist (the upper windows, in the colours of red [martyrdom], blue [his baptism], and desert colours).
The altar, ambo, chair and font form a set, made from Persian travertine and highlighted in Roman travertine.
The exact centre of the church is just in front of the altar steps, in the centre.
In church-building tradition, this is called the omphalos or "navel", where really important events take place.
The priest stands there to distribute communion.
Marriages and ordinations take place there.
There is also a special set of funeral doors, like those in mediaeval monasteries, and after the mass or service of Christian burial, the body is taken through these doors to the hearse waiting outside.
Newsletter, 13 Nov 2022
St John the Baptist Parish