HOLINESS AND HERITAGE: WHY THE MINSTER ROSE?
The Minster Rose was adopted as the Minster’s logo at the time of the Minster making in 2011. What does this logo represent for us at Croydon Minster today? It signifies holiness and heritage.
The Minster Rose is a device that helps centre our lives on Christ. On this theme Bishop Robert Barron (auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) writes:
“The massive rose windows of the medieval Gothic cathedrals were not only marvels of engineering and artistry; they were also symbols of the well-ordered soul. The pilgrim coming to the cathedral for spiritual enlightenment would be encouraged to meditate upon the rose of light and colour in order to be drawn into mystical conformity with it. What would he or she see? At the centre of every rose window is a depiction of Christ (even when Mary seems to be the focus, she is carrying the Christ child on her lap), and then wheeling around him in lyrical and harmonious patterns are the hundreds of ‘medallions,’ each depicting a saint or a scene from the Scriptures. The message of the window is clear: when one’s life is centred on Christ, all the energies, aspirations, and powers of the soul fall into a beautiful and satisfying pattern. And by implication, whenever something other than Christ – money, sex, success, adulation – fills the centre, the soul falls into disharmony”.
(Bridging the Great Divide, 172-173)
The Minster Rose can also be a sign of our centredness on Christ, the of whom our patron saint, John the Baptist, said, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3.30).
The Minster Rose is also a device that appears in the stunning Victorian caustic tiles in the chancel of the church. The photograph shows the tiles in the High Altar sanctuary. Similar to the Tudor rose they evoke key aspects of Croydon and the church’s heritage. The early Vicar of Croydon, Rowland Philips (Vicar, 1497-1538) a friend of Sts Thomas More and John Fisher, and was deeply unhappy with the Henrician Reformation of the Church. Archbishop John Whitgift, Croydon’s great benefactor was Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of another Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I.