To give us a break from the daily grind...
A couple in England has converted a church into their residence...
Email Bethany with your Lunch Break suggestions.
So sad! Even worse to hear of a church building being converted into a mosque. Europe has rejected God, having put its hope in humanism.Posted by: Jon at March 17, 2010 12:19 PM
I think it's beautiful - especially glad they saved those windows!Posted by: Alana at March 17, 2010 12:39 PM
Jon, buildings in Spain have been converted back and forth between cathedrals and mosques for centuries, and the result is truly beautiful. While standing in one of those cathedral/mosques, I was moved by the fact that God is God no matter how we, as imperfect humans, try to figure out the "right" way to worship him.Posted by: Elsa at March 17, 2010 1:47 PM
Elsa, I'm sure you know which conversion I favour. There is only one God, and the Messiah is He.Posted by: Jon at March 17, 2010 2:08 PM
I think it's absolutely stunning!!Posted by: Peg at March 17, 2010 2:39 PM
Personally I think it's STUNNING!Posted by: Peg at March 17, 2010 2:43 PM
Man...talk about having Cathedral windows and ceilings!Posted by: RSD at March 17, 2010 3:01 PM
This is absolutely WONDERFUL! I love it! I have no problem with the building being converted into a home. Had it been converted into a House of Ill Repute, that would bother me. It is both tasteful and beautiful.Posted by: Brenda at March 17, 2010 3:04 PM
I have a problem with it, for a few reasons. For starters-
Doesn't it make anyone slightly uncomfortable that there is a graveyard? Its not right that consecrated ground with graves be used this way. What are their plans for the graves? Can families or others wishing to honor the dead visit during normal graveyard hours?
Can you imagine the offense if they had built a home near an indigenous gravesite in the US or Australia, for example?
I think their house and style are tasteful as far as decorating goes, and I bet they're good people. I just don't think its proper- when something is consecrated, it is set aside for purposes of veneration and worship.
But most societies with Christian roots have lost a sense of the why's and where's of religious things- and the current culture in Britain seems a prime example. People are often educated in everything except faith matters, so it can't be held against them.Posted by: Mary Ann at March 17, 2010 4:52 PM
There was a former church building in rural Washington state that had been converted to beer joint.
It was called the 'Holy Smoke Tavern'.
They're just buildings, the product of human hands hands.
God does not dwell there.
The only place GOD 'once' chose to manifest his presence was so utterly destroyed that the land where it stood became a plowed field.
[It is in the 'book'. Jesus foretold it's destruction.]
They're are only special when the body of Christ assembles there to conduct the business of the kingdom of God.
Something which can be done equally as well in a living room or a movie theatre.
I have been present when the body of Christ assembled in a bar during the off hours on a Sunday morning.
Jesus is the Cornerstone. The apostles and the prophets are the foundation and the pillars and we, the body of Christ are the living stones assembled together, a habitation suitable for the Living God.
[It is in the 'book'. ]
Search it out and see if it be so.
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at March 17, 2010 5:09 PM
The rich in England have been doing this for 500 years.Posted by: Badger Catholic at March 17, 2010 5:22 PM
"I just don't think its proper- when something is consecrated, it is set aside for purposes of veneration and worship"
I don't know about other faiths; but the Episcopalian church "deconsecrates" churches that are no longer being used for houses of worship. Thus, they can be used for offices, private places of residences, schools, etc. And interestingly I agree with Ken about the worship. I recall being stranded in the airport in Belgrade (former Yugoslavia, now Serbia). A Catholic priest, who was with a group that was returning home after a pilgrimage to Medgorge, said a Mass while sitting on the airport floor. It's not the building per se that creates a worshop space; but the spirit of those who are worshipping.Posted by: Artemis at March 17, 2010 5:56 PM
Artemis, I thought you didn't believe in God.Posted by: Lori Pieper at March 17, 2010 6:18 PM
A Church is her people...not the building. Of course I wouldn't like to see a church used in a blasphemous manner (such as the one church turned into an abortion clinic! Now it is a pro-life center) But I think the couple did a very nice job. Its breathtaking.
The graves look to be hundreds and hundreds of years old. I'd say they look 17th and 18th century. So I doubt anyone is coming to visit those graves. At least now the lawn will be cared for and the graves too as they are part of this couple's property. I would live there in a heartbeat!Posted by: Sydney M. at March 17, 2010 8:49 PM
Not a crucifix in the "house" but a bedroom with candles either side of the bed as if it was an altar. It makes me uncomfortable. The church should remain a house of God. And I would have a really nice outdoor grotto to the Blessed Mother.Posted by: truthseeker at March 18, 2010 2:07 AM
I agree with Ken. I'm sad because of what the transformation represents: apostacy. This place once had many worshipers but has lost them all.Posted by: Jon at March 18, 2010 8:17 AM
Well, you never know what post is going to get a lot of comments, this being a prime example!
For what it's worth, I love the place. But I love converted most anythings, like even barns. I'm glad this building has been preserved rather than torn down with its stained glass sold piecemeal.
And ultimately, as many have stated, it's just a building. Had it been converted into something blasphemous, I would have had a problem, but not this.
And I have a very good pro-life friend with a graveyard in her backyard. She lives in upstate NY on the Hudson River. I've walked through those graves dating back to the 1700s. I wonder if this isn't more prevalent that we know.Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 18, 2010 9:54 AM
Hmmm... personally I not sure about the idea of living next to a graveyard, no matter how beautiful the architecture is.
This is taking the saying "living among the dead" literally. :))Posted by: Thien at March 18, 2010 1:21 PM
Catholics believe that God does dwell in His Church- among the people, and in the tabernacle. One of the things that made me curious about the Catholic faith was the feeling I got going into a church- I knew on a gut level that God literally dwelt there. I only share this because I've heard other lots of reverts' and converts' stories that confirm the same experience.
(Ken, I have read the Good Book over several times, especially the Gospels. Love of Jesus and reading Scripture brought me to the Catholic Church, in fact. Check out John 17, if you like.)
Christians have believed in the Real Presence of Christ for nearly 2,000 years, its nothing new and a very beautiful reality for the people of God. A beautiful house doesn't compare with God's dwelling place.
Worship can take place almost anywhere, that's true. But that doesn't cancel out the value of a consecrated church.
The folks are probably nice, and surely creative and the whole bit- I don't doubt that and I'm not trying to rain on their parade, or graveyard or whatever. :)
I think it it beautiful, but yes I am sad that churches are closing. However, it was tastefully converted to a home. It could be worse as some have said-like a tavern! Pretty soon, many more people will live in churches, unfortunately. For those that convert the churches to homes, I think they will feel something about their home- like all the prayers that had been said there-all the ceremonies-all the sacred occasions. It is sort of weird, but not bad really.Posted by: Eileen at March 18, 2010 8:51 PM
My parents nearly bought an old converted church in the Hudson Valley a few years ago. It was very simply and tastefully done - the choir loft became the bedroom and the rest was a one-floor one-room home. It was charming, actually; the only reason they didn't buy it was because it was just an awful, 30-minutes-of-backroads commute from the thruway, and accessibility was important to them.
I don't really see the big deal. Our culture in particular is so quick to tear down the old in favor of the new; I like the inventiveness of repurposing things, whether buildings or old t-shirts.Posted by: Alexandra at March 20, 2010 7:22 AM
my wife and I are actually looking for a church conversion to purchase. Regardeless of one's faith, isn't the premise that "god is everywhere" etc...so in keeping with that philosophy, God is as present in the common house we presently occupy as he would be in some extravagant architectural construct to honour his existence. Regardless of the grandeur and splendor fabricated into huge European cathedrals, god has no reason to be any MORE present in such buildings as he would be anywhere else in the world. Simply put, a building is a building. Man and religion has constructed churches as a place to gather PEOPLE...not to attract a holy "presence". It is doubtful that god cares to hang out more at the Sistine Chapel than in the mouth of an active volcano.
Many of these buildings are well constructed, beautiful, and often virtually abandoned by the congregations required to sustain them as places of worship. There is nothing "sacriligeous" in wanting to restore, convert, or occupy a church, that might otherwise be left to the mice.
The beauty of such a home is enough to make me consider a purchase of this kind, and I look forward to making this a reality sometime in the near future.
Granted, I'm not sure that the presence of a graveyard would interest me greatly, but having the dead as neighbors would be more desirable than some of the street gangs in downtown urban centers.