Saturday, May 05, 2007

the unfinished church

We were always taught to respect churches. After all it's a place of worship, the house of God. So, it was definitely interesting & oddly disconcerting when I first came across the concept of a converted church in Canada. Family in the Middle East & India reading this are probably shocked. A converted church?

Perhaps, this concept was new to me because growing up all I was surrounded by were Catholic churches & never heard of one needing to be converted into anything. It was always filled to the brim over the years - sections had to added to accommodate the change. So, I should explain that most of these Canadian conversions were of churches belonging to other denominations. When the congregation begins to dwindle due to relocation or other factors, it is decided that the church can perhaps be put to better use, instead of running on empty. Decided by whom? I'm not sure. Maybe the government?

So, what can you possibly convert a church into? Well, homes or lofts for one. Sold to developers, this makes for quite the hot property in Toronto. I've seen some of these converted churches & they naturally posses strong bones with such an old world charm, the wooden beams that seem to prop & support the high ceilings, the brick finish on the interior walls - just my style. Yet, somehow I just can't see myself living in such a space. I feel I'd be bordering on something along the lines of blasphemy with every conjured image of a congregation in worship, of a baptismal or marriage celebration, of a funeral service. This is what would hold me back & Hubby too, shares my sentiments.

Going from converted churches in Canada to an unfinished church in Bermuda. This Unfinished Church in St. George began its construction Gothic style in 1874 but was never to be completed. While it was meant to replace another older church, (St. Peter's Church) just down the street, financial difficulties delayed completion. Furthermore, the Anglican congregation then split, with the other half deciding to instead renovate St. Peter's instead. They say bad things happen in threes? Well, just as funds were finally accumulated many years later, the final blow was dealt. The church was severely damaged during a 1926 hurricane on the eve of its completion. The Unfinished Church is, however, beautiful & peaceful as it stands in its uncompleted form. It is a national historic monument in Bermuda & a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's also a part of the do it yourself walking tour of the town of St. George's, which encompasses many other historic delights.


Mike said...

That is amazing and I love the way you handled the pictures. Very creative.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Thanks, Mike. I use Google's Picasa.

Fundilee said...

Hi Nice to see the Church again & the stone repairs on the tower i did in 1999, i was the stonemason who went out from the UK to restor the church. i a great place to sit and think, i hope its well it an old friend. Fundilee

Stan said...

Speaking of converted churches, on our holiday trip to turkey in 2003,
we learned that many of the so-called mosques were really churches!