A touch of Indiana Jones came to St Paul’s, in Camberley, as we were transported back in time to 1480 BC to experience life as an Israelite. St Paul’s remodelled the church for the occasion, to house a replica, life sized, Ark of the Covenant - the biblical chest built by the Israelites, to contain the Ten Commandments etched on Tablets of Stone. .
People were given a real experience of what it would have been like to enter the most holy place on earth, as they were invited into the tabernacle, past the temple guards. Ancient music played, and the smell of incense was in the air. A golden lampstand and altar completed the transformation, as people were taken on a journey exploring the “Making of the Ark”, in two interactive services on Sunday 17 July.
Service leader Geoff Andrew was interviewed by BBC Radio Surrey before the service, and says: “It’s a wonderful vehicle for showing how sacrifice and cleanliness was so important then, and how the people really feared and respected and were in awe of God. We even had a stuffed cuddly lamb we pretended to sacrifice.”
Anyone familiar with the Indiana Jones movies will know about the mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the Lost Ark. But not many people know what the Ark of the Covenant actually was, who made it and why it was so important to the Israelites in Biblical times. The Ark has inspired everyone from Dan Brown to Steven Spielberg, making the film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. The ‘hands on’ service explored why the Ark was so special and why thousands of years later it still sparks stories, adventures and discussion.
I interviewed Hannah, David and Shirley after the service, to capture their reactions to this spectacular. You can hear what they had to say by pressing play.