Steeples have played a vital role in the development of churches around the world. For centuries, they have held an important meaning and it tends to be rare to see a church without one. Though Christianity itself is not solely defined by these architectural structures, they add a lot of special significance in history and it’s something you should consider adding to your church if it doesn’t already have one. A steeple is the first thing many visitors will see when looking at a church, and yours should strive to leave a lasting impression.
History of Steeples
Historically, steeples were brought to America hundreds of years ago when Europeans came here to settle. To them, steeples were a crucial part of the church’s identity and made it stand out among surrounding buildings, which has proven impactful. This was considered to be a “traditional design” and continues to show up on churches being built around the world today. While these tower-like additions are aesthetically pleasing and hard to miss, there is a reason they are there at all. The size of the steeple is meant to attract followers to the church and help them locate it among other buildings due to its height.
Peak of the Steeple
Something you may notice about steeples is the way they are always pointed towards the sky and standing tall. This positioning is extremely significant and is supposed to point people in the direction of Heaven. By bringing your eyes to the sky, this positioning aims to make people contemplate this religious significance. In ancient times, it was believed that God was easier to reach if this part of the church was higher in the sky. The Bible refers to Him as a tower in Psalm 61:3-4, saying, “Raise me up, set me on a rock, for you are my refuge, a tower of strength against the foe”. It makes it more obvious to individuals in areas around the church where they can go to worship and be closer to God.
Steeples and Bells
Steeples have been known to function as a holding place for church bells, known as the belfry, as well. While this means more maintenance, placing the bell in a high and protected spot will ensure the sound travels the proper distance. This noise is supposed to reach people farther away and, in the past, was used to lead them to the church and alert them when it was time to gather for prayer. These bells also ring during wedding ceremonies or funerals to mark the passing of a fellow Christian. It is not uncommon for churches today to use an electronic bell to avoid rusting and repair of the traditional steel or bronze one.
Steeples as Sundials
Speaking of time, centuries ago, when steeples were first being added to churches and understood, they were used to help others tell the time of day. Because clocks were not yet accessible when Americans started to settle in the country, the steeple acted as a sundial through its shadows. This showed others how to use a sundial and why being able to tell time is so vital. Nowadays, churches hold services around the same time, so it is common to hear the bell sound in the mornings and evenings to signify a gathering.
Steeples Simple, White Design
You may have also noticed that most steeples tend to be white and relatively simple when it comes to their design. In early America, it was difficult to find certain materials like metal, so the wood was whitewashed to provide extra protection from outside elements. While church steeple repairs are always possible, finding a reliable company to take care of your work will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Today, many steeples can be made with materials that will require less money and construction like metal, aluminum, or stainless steel. Fiberglass steeples are another option that you may choose because they are easy to maintain and stable.
How We Can Help
At American Steeples, we take pride in our work and offer a wide selection of steeples, crosses, and baptistries for your church. We understand the importance of making a church feel and look welcoming to all who enter. Our steeples are of the highest quality and we continue to be proud of the work we have created for others. Contact us to discuss your plan or learn more about what we do.