Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Empty Churches

The Telegraph recently reported on many of the churches across the UK that are empty or have very low attendance.

The quoted Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, as suggesting "churches with low attendance could be turned into gyms, restaurants and multi-faith centres." Read here.

He suggested that this could be the best way that they could serve the community. Now the church is more than a building its people but somehow I think that one of the reasons these churches are empty is because they stopped serving their community a long time ago.

The phenomenon is not restricted to the Church of England. I understand that the denomination I have been part of since birth has many failing churches. Their assets being sold off when it becomes untenable and the proceeds used to support central administration.

How about us all looking at this a different way. At the same time as this decline there is also stories of growth all over the country. Many churches taking on building projects. What if we all forgot denominational divides and gifted each other property. What if a church on the edge of closure struggling to keep up a building were to find a church that was bursting at the seams and say here is your answer.

Cloud cuckoo land? Maybe. Putting the needs of the community over our own little patch that is kingdom thinking.


Anonymous said...

I like your thoughts Billy. Maybe it can happen. Maybe we need to start a website listing the building issues(too big/small) that people have.

Johnny said...

Really good thoughts, Billy



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