The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary at St Francis Health Centre is a sacred space where you will find peace, stillness and silence, providing an opportunity for deep inner reflection. The design of the building is based on a profoundly mystical geometric configuration called the ‘Grace’. It is composed of an outer circle containing a square (with its corners touching the circle) and an inner circle inside the square.

The Sanctuary’s ‘Grace’ has been modified with a smaller inner circle, which provides the seating in the Sanctuary. The walls of the Sanctuary from the square. The inner circle contains an eight-pointed star, which is shown in the carpet design on the floor. The eight points of the star extend as invisible rays from the centre, which are marked as window openings in the four corners and walls.

The roof contains a pyramid with angles exactly the same as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Made of clear glass, with its apex directly above the centre of the inner circle, light streams into the space. The walls are painted violet (a high spiritual vibration) and the carpet is a lighter tone.

The final key in the design is the Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Mean, or Section, where the Greek letter phi represents the value 1:1.6180 etc. This ratio underlies proportions in nature, and in ancient architecture. In the Sanctuary the proportion is reflected in the dimension of the square’s side to the height (floor to pyramid apex), 1:1:.618.

Symbols of Eight Spiritual Traditions

Each of the eight windows contains the symbol of a spiritual tradition. Entering from the West, one faces the cross, symbol of Christianity in the window on the East all. In the North-East corner opening is a Star Tetrahedron, the Judaic symbol known as the Star of David. The Bahai nine-pointed star is due North, with the Confucian symbol in the North-West corner. The Buddhist ‘wheel’ symbol is in the South-East corner, while the Hindu symbol is due South and the symbol for Islam is in the South-West corner. The symbol for the Shinto religion is due West in the entrance lobby to the sanctuary.

The Four Elements

On the ground outside the square building, and contained between the outer circle and the walls, are four features. Each of these is dedicated to one of the four elements. The element water is honoured on the North face adjacent to the curved covered path to the entrance door, which has the alchemical symbols for the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) on the wooden panels.

The TAU symbol shown on the wall of the sanctuary is the Franciscan sign of blessing and peace. It is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and means:

There where our alphabet and language end,
Another mystical reality starts,