Two European building projects may threaten traditional church architecture as we know it.
In England, designer Michael Gill claims his inflatable church (www.inflatablechurch.com) could reverse dwindling attendance among Anglicans. "If people won't go to church, then the church needs to go to the people," he says. The 47-foot polyester church features an inflatable pew, organ, pulpit and altar. Mick Elfred (above), vicar of Good Shepherd, Tadworth, Surrey, dedicated the church. "[T]his church challenges us not to get stuck and side-tracked by our buildings," Elfred says.
In the Netherlands, the town of Edam is using its namesake cheese to fund repairs to St. Nicholas Church, a 15th century landmark with beetle and fungus damage. Volunteers are using 10,000 cheese rounds to build a 12-foot replica of the church. "As far as we know no church has ever been built from cheese before," project spokesperson Nel Eijek told Ecumenical News International. For $11, each sponsor contributes a round of cheese to the project and receives a free visit to the completed Church of Cheese.
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