St. John’s Episcopal Church

Ornate Garden Gate and Altar

St. John’s Episcopal Church

110 South Clay Street
Sturgis, Michigan
(269) 651-5811

I have always had a strong interest in the history of religion, and in my studies in college I developed a great respect for the early beginnings of man and his religious connections.  So when the opportunity came for me to make the altarpiece at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sturgis, I was really excited to try to do it.

The crucifixion is the central drama of the whole altarpiece, but I was able to create a total environment in which all things relate – the crucifix, the altar, and the candlesticks – rather than being assembled piecemeal, which happens in many situations.

I think that in many contemporary churches there are too many easy modern forms, considered from the decorative standpoint in the architectural design.  They don’t have real meaning.  I am in sympathy with the idea of retaining old forms.

When I did the gate for St. John’s, I tried to retain the forms, from the past.  I felt very strongly that I should go back to some of the early Gothic forms and bring those forms into the present.

Kirk Newman – Speaking about his work at St. John’s Episcopal Church around 1984