Bishop defends church simplicity

Hamilton Bishop Stephen Lowe has defended the beauty of one of the churches in his diocese, and that church’s suitability as a place
of worship.

Hamilton Bishop Stephen Lowe

On May 29, Bishop Lowe posted a photo on facebook of the inside of Holy Name of Jesus church in Raglan. The bishop was there to celebrate a vigil Mass.

But a commentor described the scene depicted as looking like a “minimalist hall”, and asked how “Our Lord, who is King of all Creation”,  could be at home there.

“When you look at the beauty in creation, the attention to detail etc., it is clear Our Lord loves beauty; He is the fullness of beauty. This ‘home’, like so many churches around New Zealand and the world, is not fit for
our beloved King,” the commentor stated.

Bishop Lowe responded on Facebook, saying that the commentor needed to visit the church in person,  as the photo posted did not do it justice.

“. . . [Y]ou can’t see the other features of the church, that add to its beauty,” the bishop stated.

“Yes, it is a very simple church, as was the stable, the home in Nazareth, and the cross. It was a beautiful prayerful Mass last evening,” he added.

Bishop Lowe added that, “We live in a world that is often scarred by criticism. I pray you don’t buy  into this age of criticism, that disfigures beauty,” before signing off his response with “blessings”.

A subsequent commentor agreed with Bishop Lowe’s remarks on the Raglan church, saying, “There is such beauty. And the light is so lovely. I have had my first holy Communion there, was married there and had my child baptised there. The beauty is in
the simplicity”.

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Michael Otto

Reader Interactions


  1. Sarah Gentry says

    ‘”[Y]ou can’t see the other features of the church, that add to its beauty,”the bishop stated.’

    I have been to this parish (in person) and, believe me, there are no ‘other features.’ It’s an empty hall, and unworthy as a home for Christ.

  2. Jenny says

    I agree. Protestant. Why be mean with God? Does not inspire reverence. The church should have spent more money to adorn the church.

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