“God is Light.
Ye are all the Children of the Light,
Come ye and let us walk in the Light of the Lord.”
These words of great beauty and wisdom, wrought in mosaic on the altar table of The Santa Anita Church, are a summation of the spirit of the architecture of the Church and of its teachings.
Designed by R.F. Inwood, the church is a joyful and worshipful expression in natural stone, wood and glass of these words of Isaiah. One feels the enduring strength of the materials and one feels in the skillful combination of these materials, an expansion of the spirit and a harmony with the Light of the Lord.
The main colors of the Church are white and gold; white symbolizing purity and gold symbolizing the Goodness of God. Both are the colors of His Light in which His children walk.
One of the most unusual and striking features of the church is the stained glass Tower of Light at the northeastern end of the church designed by John Wallis of the Wallis, Wylie Studios in Pasadena.
The Tower of Light is twenty-five feet in diameter and almost 30 feet tall. The design is abstract in nature, graceful and delicate. The coloring is golden-in shades from pure white at the bottom to glowing rich golds and bronzes at the top. The glass is all hand made and comes from France, Germany and Italy as well as West Virginia. Throughout the window, in small pieces, there are accents of rich, warm reddish browns which echo the color accents in the stone work.
Through the brilliance and clarity of the glass in the tower, the rays of God’s Light are transmitted to fall in glorious radiance upon the gleaming white of the altar table.
Above the altar, in the circular center of the Tower of Light, there is a star through the center of which a circular beam of golden light descends upon the altar. Before reaching the altar, the beam of light strikes the center of the suspended Lucite Cross where it is diffused through the arms of the cross so that the cross glows as with its own light. This symbolizes beautifully that God, the Father, sends his light into the world through Jesus, whose birth in Bethlehem was heralded by a star.
The seven repeated circular shapes are a graphic representation of eternity and of the eternal quality of God’s Word. It is also a reminder of the seven lights of wisdom–the gift of the Father Spirit and of the peace that mankind will enjoy when men learn to walk in the way of the Lord.
Above the altar, in the gable, there are twenty narrow openings filled with leaded glass. The mixture of subtly shaded reddish purples–the color of divine inspiration–are the natural complement of the golden colors in the Tower of Light.
Around the church there are three courtyards each dedicated to one of the Virtues – “And now abide Faith, Hope and Love, these three. And the greatest of these is Love. “– The courtyard on the South is dedicated to Faith, the courtyard on the North to Hope, and the courtyard on the East, surrounding the Tower of Light, to Love. It was Faith, Hope and Love that built this church and it is fitting that the worshiper be reminded of this as he contemplates these gardens.
This beautiful church, an inspiring expression of the belief in the goodness of God, has been ten years in developing; ten years of hope that it might someday become a reality, ten years of Faith that God’s will would be accomplished and ten years of Loving work carrying out His wishes.