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Reform Magazine | August 25, 2019

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Open all hours: Who are church buildings for?

Open all hours: Who are church buildings for?

John Brown appeals for churches to open up

Who are church buildings for? I contend that church buildings are the most significant resource within the Church’s arsenal for mission, though few among the Churches appreciate this. Every individual who endeavours to be Christian, every congregation with the same endeavour, is a witness to Christ, but it is only church buildings which perform this function 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks of the year. They permanently promote the Church’s message, yet largely remain as an unappreciated, untapped, resource.

The people of Britain are overfamiliar with church buildings and respond to them in one of three ways: they ignore who they represent; they choose to enter them and may or may not find they help them to respond to the one they represent; or they wish to enter but find the door shut, and walk away confused. When they consider who the church building is designed to represent, they are confused to find it inaccessible other than at a designated time on one day of the week. Meanwhile, those who congregate at the designated time seem oblivious to the contradiction: this building represents the one who ‘so loved the world that he gave his only Son that none might perish’, but when it is closed it is the victim of restricted access at the hands of Churches!

The objective of the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association (CVTA) is that church buildings should be open for as long as possible during daylight hours, and that secondly, those who enter should find what which they are seeking. …


John Brown is chair of the Churches Visitor and Tourism Association. Coming soon: Caroline Andrews on being minister of a tourist attraction

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the March 2019 edition of  Reform

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