One of the things that we discovered on our recent trip is that there is a St. John The Baptist Cathedral in both Savannah and Charleston. Both have a fairly long history and both were destroyed by fire during that history. The Charleston church was destroyed in 1861, the Savannah church in 1898. Both were obviously rebuilt. Both have also had major renovations along the way. Major renovations, in fact. When I first saw the Charleston cathedral I thought it was “new”.
Now, I have to say that I very much enjoy photographing churches, especially churches with “history”. Not to mention their (usually) adjacent cemeteries. Walking through and around these places leaves you with a profound sense of “temporariness”. A distinct feeling of mortality. Well, it does me anyway. It’s especially true when you realize that you’ve already racked up more years on this planet than most of the permanent residents under the gravestones did while they were still walking around. Unnerving, actually.
Personally, I find the churches themselves kind of scary, too. You might find me wandering around one of them with a camera, or you might find me on the inside during a wedding or perhaps a funeral, but you’ll never find me inside during any kind of normal service. Ain’t going to happen. It’s just not me. Never was. I just get spooked. I can’t explain it any other way. Even when I was a kid, I fought with my mother over “having to go to meetings”. Eventually, I simply refused. Some kids were scared of the bogeyman; I was scared of anything that remotely resembled a church or anyone that looked or sounded like a minister. Kind of the same way I feel about most politicians today. Well, not fear anymore, just distrust. Or bad vibes.
Still, these are magnificent structures. You have to give them that.