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One Tank Trip: Bryn Athyn Cathedral

Published On: Jul 23 2014 04:42:55 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2014 05:49:40 PM CDT

A year ago, we took you on a tour of an impressive family estate in Montgomery County, called Cairnwood.

BRYN ATHYN, Pa. -

A year ago, we took you on a tour of an impressive family estate in Montgomery County, called Cairnwood. This summer, we're showing you what they built next in Bryn Athyn.

The Bryn Athyn Cathedral is a place for contemplative thought, quiet reflection and prayer.

Joralyn Echols, outreach and public relations coordinator, took us on a tour and into the nave where the congregation comes to worship Sunday mornings.

She explained the cathedral is a mecca for members of the New Church throughout the world.      

It's a stunning display both inside and out with benches tucked away in gardens that mirror the bright colors found in the church's carefully thought-out stained glass windows.             

It all began in 1913 on land gifted by the Pitcairns. John Pitcairn and his son Raymond led the design team.

"The building of this cathedral was very intentional down to some of the smallest details. There's a key for each door and each key is different," Echols explained.

No two doorknobs are alike. They are made of a metal that reveals a beautiful shiny nickel the more it's used, which reflects one of the church's teachings: it's important to be a useful person.

On a tour, you'll learn of the epic journey to create the stained glass made the medieval way.

"They worked for years on perfecting the recipes and the methods used to make the glass, and so the glass really became a focus here at the cathedral," Echols said.

The beauty of the stained glass should withstand the times. There was forethought in crafting it.

The studio was on site, and craftsmen made enough hand-blown glass for replacements.

"The glass studio was active for about 20 years. They could re-glaze the entire cathedral if needed," Echols said.

You are invited to share in the beauty year round. 

"Some of my favorite moments here are when the nave is quiet and I focus on the light coming in the stained glass windows and the beautiful colors, the gold on the altar," Echols said.