Many of the features in the Bethlehem Church are rich in meaning and symbolism, to help us focus on God's wonderful gifts to us.
The three-panel stained glass window above the altar points to some of the central teachings of the Christian faith. The panel on the left depicts Christ's resurrection, the centre panel his ascension, while the third shows Christ as the Good Shepherd, who is always present to guide and protect his people.
The large glass window facing the main doors is bordered with symbols representing the ever-present Lord Jesus Christ. In the lower left-hand corner ears of corn represent the body of Christ. This is very appropriate for Bethlehem because ‘Bethlehem’ means ‘House of Bread’.
Above the wheat is the vine with its bunches of grapes representing the wine, or blood of Christ.
In 1971 the rose window above the main door and two smaller side windows were glazed and illuminated to celebrate the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone.
The large window symbolizes the star of the Epiphany which led the wise men to Christ. The three windows together represent the universe.
The eight petals of the rose depict the cardinal points of the compass, while the golden shafts of light stand for the gospel emanating from the triune God out into the universe.
The panel above the baptismal font was hung and dedicated in November 1990. Designed and made in pure silk by Pitt Heinrich of Auckland, New Zealand, the panel highlights the significance of Christian baptism.
The sun represents God the eternal life-giving Father; the dove, the Holy Spirit; and the cross, Christ the Saviour. The shell and droplets of water symbolise baptism, available to people of all ages as shown beneath.
This was presented to the congregation on the Second Sunday after Trinity in 1901 by Wilhelmine Gebhard in memory of Gustav Gebhard.
After St Paul’s Anglican Church was de-consecrated in September 1982, the rector presented their pulpit crucifix to our congregation on permanent loan.
This represents the church militant. It is used to lead the clergy in and out of the church, especially on festival occasions. It also leads the coffin and mourners from the church at funerals.
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More detailed information on the church interior and symbolism can be found in ‘125 years plus 5’, a booklet published in 2002 to commemorate 130 years of the history of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.