What Sort of Building do we need?
We build too many walls and not enough bridges’ – Isaac Newton.
Having looked at how much of our activity should be based in our own building we all recognise the organisational and corporate statement and ‘thin place’ benefits of our own building. Provided of course that we can justify and fund the proper upkeep in relation to the costs of being a church. We would suggest that a premises requirements and development plan is generated and reviewed as necessary as a response to the ever-changing mission strategy. This plan can take account of the issues raised here and in other sections of the Forum website
Some issues to consider:
- The look, feel, layout and inter-relationship of the spaces should reflect the nature of the church family. An honest assessment should be made and regularly updated.
- Leaving behind the concept of the church building as a sacred space with associated rooms and developing the concept of a 7 day kingdom of God facilitating centre.
- Should the church be intentionally providing spaces for community groups and voluntary organisations with similar ethos? The development of a Christian community ‘hub’ which for economic and ecumenical reasons may well be developed as a shared facility. This is very different from letting spare rooms to provide revenue.
- Spaces which facilitate interaction with the community and provides a welcoming and non-threatening facility which enable contact, encounter, passing on our faith and most importantly unconditional Christian love and compassion. Indeed, all of those aspects which represent pour calling to promote and further the kingdom, not on a Sunday but during the week.
- Spaces which facilitate and enhance worship and community spirituality, ‘thin places’. These are not private members only spaces but open to the community for expressions of spirituality, grief and celebration.
- The Church building as a depository and focus for community and church memories – a continuity statement and an opportunity to engage.