Redundant Churches*

The power and influence of the church has declined dramatically in modern times and with it there has been a corresponding decline in attendance and congregation size. Vicars often rotate weekly services between multiple villages. With shrinking congregations and increasing maintenance costs, many churches have been deconsecrated and sold for use as homes, restaurants, or retail outlets. Others remain sanctified and are maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust. The Trust’s primary goal is to prevent the deterioration of buildings of architectural, historic, or cultural significance but also to ensure, where possible, continued community use. There is poignancy in these buildings. Once the centre of community life, both spiritual and secular, they now sit empty, unheated, used only on special occasions if ever. Our footsteps echo as we walk across the ledger stones memorialising past notables and nobles, the inscriptions often worn to illegibility by centuries of foot traffic, tomb effigies, and wall memorials now read only by the casual visitor, there is a mustiness, a bible lays open and unread on the lectern at the pulpit. I cannot help but see them as a metaphor for the spiritual state of modern times. * Reduntant churches remain sanctified but no longer offer regular services and are in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow

Redundant Churches*

The power and influence of the church has declined dramatically in modern times and with it there has been a corresponding decline in attendance and congregation size. Vicars often rotate weekly services between multiple villages. With shrinking congregations and increasing maintenance costs, many churches have been deconsecrated and sold for use as homes, restaurants, or retail outlets. Others remain sanctified and are maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust. The Trust’s primary goal is to prevent the deterioration of buildings of architectural, historic, or cultural significance but also to ensure, where possible, continued community use. There is poignancy in these buildings. Once the centre of community life, both spiritual and secular, they now sit empty, unheated, used only on special occasions if ever. Our footsteps echo as we walk across the ledger stones memorialising past notables and nobles, the inscriptions often worn to illegibility by centuries of foot traffic, tomb effigies, and wall memorials now read only by the casual visitor, there is a mustiness, a bible lays open and unread on the lectern at the pulpit. I cannot help but see them as a metaphor for the spiritual state of modern times. * Reduntant churches remain sanctified but no longer offer regular services and are in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow