Globe and Mail offers ideas for re-purposing churches

In a recent article on, reporter Guy Dixon presents a number of ideas worthy of thought and reflection.

He writes about churches in Toronto and Hamilton who have engaged in a process of re-envisioning their use of space and how that space can serve the needs of their neighbourhoods.

Some of these ideas have included removing pews so that space can be used in more flexible ways for community groups, local musicians and other neighbourhood groups.

Affordable housing is an issue that many municipalities face and the article includes ideas on how churches can respond to those needs.

The full article offers food for thought for churches seeking creative solutions and new ideas on being the church.

read the article

2 Comments, RSS

  • Doug Woods

    says on:
    2 February 2018 at 11:14 AM

    We’ve been assuming that to be the church nowadays, you have to pack light—be mobile and flexible. In a sense, that’s so (and always has been; look at Jesus’ instructions to his disciples as he sends them out on mission). For a while now, we’ve been saying that we’ll soon have to get rid of our real estate because it’s dragging us down; we’re dragging it along behind us as dead weight. Maybe this article is a poke to get our attention and help us with our problem so we can help others who have problems, i.e., even our real estate can help us in our ministry if we’re willing to let go of our 19th century ideas of what the space is for and how it should look. We can still use our space for our traditional purposes, even as we open it up for others in our community to use it for the good of the community. And it’s so simple—just replace the pews with chairs (like the ones we already have in our chapel). Just as we do downstairs in our hall, we’d just put the chairs aside when we’re finished on Sunday morning, making space for the others who will use the space the other six days a week.

    • Father Glenn

      says on:
      2 February 2018 at 1:01 PM

      Greetings, Father Doug,

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I believe the article, as you indicate, spurs us onto to deeper thinking — even dreaming.

      It seems to me that the notion of pews is one component of the re-thinking. All of this, I believe, must to linked into some coherent over-riding strategy with a specific goal in mind. In the midst of that, we have our judicatory as one cog in the wheels.

      Still, anything that generates creative thinking and dreaming is valuable as we engage in the challenge of re-visioning the Church.

      Blessings to you,

      Glenn +

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