I’m not a religious person, but I’ve always enjoyed visiting churches. I grew up in England and the stone churches had a calm ambience with cool, quiet interiors. Usually, there was some feature of note, even in the smallest church – carvings on the pew ends, a font dating from Norman times, the tomb of some ancient notable under the floor.
The Painted Church at Honaunau, on the Big Island, is different from those churches, more fitting to its setting. A wooden structure, it dates back to 1899. Father John Velghe moved much of a previous structure to its present site and had it repaired and added to. A self-taught artist, he then painted the interior including several scenes from the bible on the walls.
What I like is how colorful the interior is, with a real tropical feel. But it too has that stillness that I associate with churches and an ambience all its own.
For more information about the Painted Church at Honaunau, go to thepaintedchurch.org.