the lion, the witch and the sanctuary

It’s been so exciting putting together our latest creative outreach window (and door!). What a joy and privilege to bring to life this moment from C.S. Lewis’ most famous and well-loved allegorical story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe…

Narnia window - lead image

It’s best seen in person as we can’t possibly capture all the different elements in one picture for you – from fur coats, animals turned to stone and Turkish delight through to a tree and forest canopy bursting to life again now Aslan has come.

But here are a couple of close-up shots that might help a bit:

Narnia window - taste of winter close up

Narnia window - taste of spring close up

What’s it all about?

Well besides giving away a beautiful piece of art which brings to life something so well-loved and Christmassy…

We’ve chosen to feature Lewis’ story to provide an intriguing way in to the Christmas story’s truth and beauty this year. The poster in the left hand side of the window explains it all…

Narnia explanation text

Here’s what it says:

It used to be… Always Winter and Never Christmas…

The snow scene that greets Lucy and the other children when they come through the wardrobe doors into Narnia is more than just a beautiful setting for a story…

In Narnia, under the reign of the self-appointed evil Queen Jardis – otherwise known as the White Witch – it is always winter but never Christmas.

Narnia really is in the bleak midwinter – her ground is literally hard as iron… no new life can grow. Creatures are turned to stone. And fear blankets the whole country.

Snow is beautiful, but endless winter spells death – and in this story it acts as a picture of evil’s dreadful, strangling grip; of a world under the wrong rule.

… But now: Spring is coming because Aslan is on the move!

Did you know that C.S. Lewis deliberately wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as an allegory (a symbolic story)?

In it Aslan represents Jesus… When he comes to Narnia – when he is ‘on the move’ – everything starts to change. The ice starts to thaw and evil begins to lose its grip.

Life bursts forth – spring starts to blossom… everything begins to be restored. And we start to know the Witch is losing for sure, because Christmas comes…

Christmas – Christ with us: Jesus with us: God with us – or in Narnia… Aslan with us.
2,000 years ago, Jesus moving – God coming to be with us in our world (with all its wintery brokenness) was the start of a Spring of restoration dawning… the start of the whole world’s story changing forever.

We all know more chapters follow this one – in Narnia and in our world – but Advent is all about celebrating Christmas and the start of the thaw…

Narnia window - best door shot

Special thanks to all our core team for their hard and creative work on this window. But most especially to the amazingly talented Alison Hodson who has brought our dream of turning our front door into the wardrobe into Narnia to life!


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