Rebuild – a chance to think about the kind of building churches need

Modern community churches need to be more than places of worship, a visiting American church builder Mel McGowan says.

He was in Christchurch last week to assist the Presbyterian Church and Union Churches with its rebuild programme.

10 out of 34 of their congregations in Canterbury have been unable to use their main halls of worship since the earthquakes.

McGowan says the trend in the United States was for sites that were not “Christian country clubs”, used for a few hours on Sundays.

The goal was to throw them open to the whole community, even different faiths, as well as the secular.

The architecture should be such that “people don’t need an invitation to step inside”.

“Even as we build walls, how do we tear down the walls between faiths and people?”

This means facilities the community can use, such as committee rooms, meeting spaces, facilities for children and teens, community gardens and the like.

Mel McGowan is the founder of  Visioneering Studios, an architectural and community development ministry which was awarded the 2008 Solomon Award for “Best Church Architect”.

He has been named one of the top 25 cultural influencers by OC Metro magazine for his role as an “Architectural Evangelist”.


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News category: New Zealand.

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