Chartres Cathedral Wasn’t Built in a Day — CDTF Report

by Rev. Pam Gehrke

If you visit Chartres Cathedral in France, one thing you might notice as you approach is that the two spires over the building’s main entrance do not match. This is because one was built in the 12th century and the other in the 16th. I find it odd that the designer of the later spire, which replaced the original after it was destroyed by lightning, chose to update the style. The result is an asymmetrical façade.

This asymmetry calls attention to the fact that the cathedral was built over a period of centuries. What might have transpired in the time between the original towers’ construction and the completion of the new spire? We might imagine fires, wars, and advances of building technology. And yes, the construction was no doubt interrupted—possibly more than once—by epidemics of infectious disease.

So how does UUSM’s campus compare with a medieval cathedral? Like Our Lady of Chartres, its improvement and development depend on the support and participation of a whole community over a long period of time. In this particular moment, we have a special opportunity to contribute to reconfiguring our disrupted social order as we shape our meeting spaces in alignment with our Unitarian Universalist values.

Please consider taking a turn, either as a member of the team or a helper to work on a limited task. As we begin gradually to emerge from isolation, we also move to a new phase of planning and building. It is an exciting time to bring your talent and voice to realizing our vision of an “aesthetically beau- tiful, multi-functional, environmentally responsible, harmoniously integrated campus” — from the Campus Development Task Force (CDTF) vision statement.

The CDTF includes Ron Lambert, Kelsey Lang, Caryl Hughan, Marty Hoffman (Board President), Rev. Ben Meyers, Barbara Du Mond (co-chair), and Pam Gehrke (co-chair).