Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Empty Protestant Churches: What to do ?

Timesonline UK:

THE architectural historian and committed Anglican Sir Roy Strong has proposed a drastic solution to the problem of tiny congregations in country churches: burn the pews and share the buildings with community centres and farmers’ markets.

“It’s unreal for many of these churches to continue,” said Strong, who is high bailiff of Westminster Abbey. “They have these so-called untouchable brown wooden pews. But why not rip them out and burn them?”

His call comes as the Anglican authorities ease procedures for buildings to be given other uses — post offices are to open in two village churches next month.

Strong, a former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, puts forward his arguments in a book to be published by Jonathan Cape in September.

He estimates there are 10,000 country churches, most built in the Middle Ages when most people lived on the land. In Herefordshire, his home county, he says some priests have to look after as many as 14 parishes.

“Country churches can only survive if they are repossessed by the community,” said Strong. “The last resort is demolition, but I’d much prefer to adapt them to the needs of the 21st century.”

Here is an idea. How about returning them to the church they were stolen from: the Roman Catholic Church? If most of the Churches were built during the Middle Ages then most of the Churches were built before the heresy of Protestantism.

Actually Strong is revealing just how 1970s his thinking is. In the 21st Century more people will be able to return to the country side because they will be able to make their living off the internet or in other indirect ways. Strong is trying to rehabilitate the the hippy concept of the commune hence his invocation of the "community." How about rebuilding families? Or is that too Christian for you?

England better return these churches back to the only true Christian church or they will be Mosques.

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