A Temporary Church

cardboard church 1A church I once served was born in a cheese warehouse, grew, purchased property, built a building, grew some more, plateaued, added an addition,  declined and closed, all in a fifty year timespan.  Now its building sits vacant, as much a liability as an asset to its judicatory.

Those fifty years of faithful ministry are worth celebrating.  But a vacant church building is just sad.  And expensive.  Did you know it costs about twice as much to insure a vacant building as it does to insure one that has an occupant?

Here’s a novel idea: in New Zealand, they built a temporary church.  When a gothic cathedral in Christchurch was destroyed by an earthquake, its members dreamed of rebuilding.  But they knew it would take decades to replace their old building.  So while they are waiting, they had an architect build a temporary building that will only last fifty years, and can be easily dismantled.

Really?  Fifty years is temporary?  And look at this building!  Who would build a gothic cathedral when they could have this one, which is built out of cardboard.  No kidding!

So, what do you think? Should we start building cardboard churches?

Thanks again to Joe Duggan at Congregational Seasons for tossing this story my way!

Photo by Jocelyn Kinghorn

4 responses to “A Temporary Church

  1. Just found your blog. I am working on a related project but could not find the contact button by which to email you personally. If you want you can reach me at mjplekon@aol.com

  2. Michael, I’m perplexed about why the contact button has disappeared! Very sorry. I will look into it.

  3. The temporary church is in New Zealand, not Australia.

  4. Thanks for that correction, I fixed it!

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