It’s the most significant Christian structure for decades, and this week saw an important stage on its journey to completion
The biggest Christian structure to be opened in the UK for decades will be here in three years’ time. But, though it will be as tall and as long as the average cathedral, here’s the thing that may strike you as strange: there won’t be a smidgeon of iconography in sight. No statues, no altars, no religious pictures – and absolutely definitely no crosses or crucifixes.
Creating a vast structure that would reflect Christianity, without any of the traditional accoutrements, was the brief put out to tender via the Royal Institute of British Architects three years ago. Companies around the world were invited to enter designs, and by the close of the competition there had been 133 entries from more than 20 countries. This week, the winning design was unveiled: a gentle, oval-shaped loop that dances around the landscape in the computer-generated images, reaching up to the skies and curving back to the ground to unite heaven and earth in one fell swoop.