Kristofferbilden i Vamlingbo kyrkas kor
Sakrament, rörlighet och gränser
The image of Saint Christopher in the chancel of Vamlingbo Church, Gotland. Sacrament, mobility and boundaries
The aim of the article is to discuss the image of Saint Christopher in the chancel of Vamlingbo Church, Gotland. Since the cult of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers and pilgrims, was mainly based on beholding the saint’s image, and the customary position of Christopher images was in the nave, its presence in the chancel provides a suitable point of departure for a discussion of mobility within a sacred space and the accessibility, visual and physical, of the chancel to laymen in the late Middle Ages.
The image in Vamlingbo is placed close to a presumed sacrament house in the form of an aumbry in the northern wall. A second aumbry, intended for worship of the sacrament, is situated in the eastern wall of the chancel. It is suggested that the image of Christopher, through its position and size, may have formed a visual connection between the congregation in the nave and the sacrament in the chancel.