Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sharon Temple - a London day trip

By no stretch of the imagination can one say that the Sharon Temple is in London; It isn't. But London has the advantage of being very centrally located in Southwestern Ontario. The Sharon Temple is just a little more than two hours east of London and can easily be visited as a day trip from London.

One of the pleasures of living in London is being able to slip away easily and yet be back in our own bed that night.

In the Upper Canada of the 1820s, with simple tools but consummate skill and artistry, a small community known as the Children of Peace crafted a dramatic architectural testament to its vision of a society.

The Temple of the Children of Peace in the village of Sharon – with its Ark of the Covenant, inspirational Banners, Pipe and Barrel Organs and Jacob’s Ladder – was completed in 1832. It lives on as the centerpiece of the Sharon Temple National Historic Site, which encompasses nine historic buildings in a park setting.

The architectural elements of the Temple combine to express a singular religious vision of the most striking beauty. Its three tiers, four-fold symmetry, lanterns and pinnacles all take their inspiration from the Bible. Its three stories represent the Trinity.

The Children of Peace integrated a unique social vision with distinctive artistic and architectural works and an unparalleled musical tradition: they commissioned the first organ built in Ontario.

Unfortunately, the Sharon Temple was closed the day I was there. But I'm heading back. I want to see another of leader David Willson’s architectural curiosities – the round outhouse.

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