The main structure of Christ Church Cranbrook is in the shape of a cross. Facing east toward the high altar, St. Paul’s Chapel forms the left arm of the cross. This chapel is dedicated to St. Paul and missionary workers.
The reredos, or screen, behind the altar features three telling of the progression of Christianity in terms of three hills. At the left is Moses on Mt. Sinai with the tablets of the law, in the center is Christ being crucified on Mt. Calvary and at the right is Paul preaching on Mars Hill – the “Areopagus” – which is adjacent to the Acropolis in Athens. Below the center panels are pictured eleven of Jesus’ parables which include the Lost Sheep, the Good Samaritan, and the Barren Fig Tree.
All paintings on the reredos were done by Hildreth Meiere (New York City, 1892-1961).
The carved vertical figures in the reredos on the left represent three Old Testament prophets: Isaiah, Hosea and Amos. On the right are three of the four Evangelists with their carved attributes: Matthew with a winged man, Mark with a lion, and Luke with an ox.
These figures were carved by Alois Lang (German American, 1872-1954).
The floor of the small chapel’s sanctuary is paved in Kasota stone and Italian marble mosaic. In it are representations of incidents in Paul’s life and symbols of his teachings. The center medallion is a graphic representation of Paul’s dramatic conversion to Christianity while traveling on the road to Damascus.
Each panel in the stained-glass windows of the chapel speaks to an incident in Paul’s life and may be identified by words etched into the glass.
The windows were designed and fabricated by Toland Wright (Cleveland, 1887-1934).