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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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19 Responses to 1069

  1. Pingback: I’d Find This Funny If… | epistleofjim.com

  2. This is just so relevant/ prophetic right now. Thanks Jon!

  3. jonbirch says:

    seems to be prophetic every single day of every single year of my life. :-(

  4. jonbirch says:

    sorry… that wasn’t meant to sound cynical… just that this dilemma has been somewhere at the heart of every church i’ve ever known to some extent. so much time, resources and angst over bricks and mortar. just saddens me.

  5. subo says:

    it’s kinds weird, I sometimes feel so frustrated with the whole closed world of church, with it’s clear demarcations of who’s in or out. & yet I find church buildings welcoming shared places. some of my friends of differing faiths use church buildings as places to stop and connect spiritually, they seem to mark life changing experiences and provide an oasis of solitude as more & more of us crowd into smaller living quarters

    & far from finding new church structures to be more egalitarian, I find them less so. it’s a braver woman than me who can turn up at a meal without close bonds with the host

    the church conservation trust leases out a great space in Brissol, a church under the wall without a congregation. I’ve stumbled into some wonderful art exhibitions & humanitarian campaigns happening in there, with the wonderful eeriness of the space lending gothic gravitas to the event

    I love church buildings, places filled with hopes & prayers over years. John Piper paintings and ambitious 60’s barn like halls, lets restore, use and share this stuff

  6. Hugh says:

    I can see advantages to having a church building if it is used to reach out to the community around it – by that I don’t mean evangelise but just be there for anyone. BUT in so many cases maintaining the church building is taking a sizable chunk of the memberships resources and most of the rest goes into making sure the organisational structure survives.

  7. Sarahboo says:

    Fair point … BUT … our 100+yr old extended building with leaky roof but lots of rooms is used for so many different community groups. A small but hard working unobtrusive group of people with the right kind of gifts keep the place going – and yes, of course, it has to be paid for. All very well to be idealistic but Toddlers/ Lunch Club/ Youth Drop in / Kids Club / Cooking Course plus Sunday congregations use the building well (and we rent out to other groups too).

    We’re not a hot shot congregation – a mixed bag of mixed up people with an old mixed up building, but PLEASE don’t discourage the Property Teams – they’re GOLD!!!!

  8. jonbirch says:

    some great comments… thank guys n gals!

    i too think churches can and should be wonderful community resources and all power to those who use them in that way.

    and here’s to ramshackle congregations of the unfit, unwell and downright broken… sharing love, resources, pain, joy and creativity!

  9. jonbirch says:

    btw. subo’s right… big creepy gothic church spaces lend themselves brilliantly to all sorts. art exhibitions and climbing walls both seem so much more exciting in such spaces.

  10. Goodfield says:

    Hmmm ….. does that means Christ’s bride is a high maintenance girl! :-)

  11. Forrest says:

    Church building? I thought it was an allegory for my body.

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  13. chris says:

    There is a 1000 year old church near my house. When I was far from church but attempting to inch my way closer to God it was here that I went. Whenever it was open during the week I popped in to sit in a pew and feel sad about the babies I had lost and to pray for a child. I never went on a Sunday when there were others there, I went in the week when it was just myself and occasionally some old lady cleaning and tending to flowers, occasionally a couple of tourists. I felt safe there, I felt closer to God there, but most of all i knew that I was in a place where no one would try to come and evangelise me.

  14. Geordie Gilly says:

    Peace and blessing to you Chris.
    Some churches have that feeling of God’s presence,even (or particulalry) when there’s no-one else there. And some don’t, as if God has left the building, which is sad. and those are the ones which have become a red herring.

  15. don’t worry you’ll make a lovely episode of Time Team in the year 3007 …

  16. Joe Turner says:

    I think the main problem with old buildings is that the congregations can’t afford them – and those that like them do not want to carry any of the cost of maintaining them.

    The sad reality is that the CofE will not be able to afford to keep a large number of the most expensive buildings for much longer. If you like them, maybe you should take them on.

  17. Joe Turner says:

    I didn’t mean that to sound as hard as I meant. Often communities value old buildings but are not contributing to their upkeep. Not all of the time, obviously.

  18. youthworkerpete says:

    It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. How about, every town/deanery keeps one old church, and the rest meet somewhere sustainable.

    That in itself would surely save millions!

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