It would appear that the Dark Ages were not all that dark, church builders prove through their legacy. Drawing their inspiration from Pagan locations such as Stonehenge, Christian architects designed an exceptional religious site at the Holy Trinity Church in Barsham, Suffolk, the UK.
A solitary window, seemingly placed offset in the building's attic, allows sunlight to pass through only during the spring and autumn equinoxes, and even then for three to four minutes. It falls directly on an otherwise obscured statue of Christ, and also illuminates the stained-glass windows in the background.
Needless to say, the visual effect is remarkable, as the wax-colored statue seems to be catching fire in the rays. Prayers gathered in the church during these minutes witness what can be easily cataloged as a miracle. The entire view, the statue backdropped by the large stained glasses, is truly one to be seen, and it attracts thousands of pilgrims each year.
The strange occurrence was only discovered a few years ago, even though it happened for the last seven to seven and a half centuries. However, since it only occurs for a limited amount of time twice a year, it has thus far eluded the attention of those that have regularly visited the church.
The 5-foot carving of Jesus Christ becomes the centerpiece of the room, and all the other paintings seem to fade by comparison. People who attended the event in the past years say that a strange feeling of peace was instilled into their hearts.
Reverend John Buchanan, the village church's assistant curate, only discovered the wonderful event a short while back, by accident, but was also amazed not to see it repeat itself over the next day. However, once he figured out the “enigma” behind the strange lighting, he sent word to parishioners to come and witness the statue being lit themselves.
“It is just incredible to see this brilliant shaft of sunlight illuminate Christ on the Cross. It is a magical moment and very uplifting. The church is in gloom as it is dusk and then all of a sudden the setting sun is in exactly the right position to shine this brilliant beam of light through the window. It is like a searchlight. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end,” the 77-year-old cleric was quoted as saying by the DailyMail
The story behind the strange window is riddled with bad luck. For many years, it was obscured by various paintings, set there by other clerics of the Church. In 1979, when a fire destroyed much of the attic, the picture was taken off, but even then the show went unnoticed for a few more years, before Buchanan first saw it.
“It only happens for a few minutes, so it is very easy to miss and, obviously, if the weather is cloudy, it doesn't happen at all. I began to plot the dates and realized that Christ was only lit up on the equinox. I've often wondered whether this spectacle was the work of a cunning priest trying to do a bit of magic to impress the locals,” he concluded.