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15/09/2011

Church of The Holy Future?


I know very little of the substance and services here, but I'm guessing the architectural design of Cross Street Chapel in Manchester - situated on the ground floor of a modern office block - will probably draw 'Marmite responses' from Unitarians and other Christian-types.

I can already hear the argument that the more ancient Unitarian & Free Christian chapels of the British Isles should be preserved not just for their historic value, but because they were built by our ancestors at considerable cost and have been hallowed by prayer for centuries. There's much truth in this line of thinking.

That said, I like the simplicity and pragmatic nature of Cross Street Chapel. The chapel inside actually looks very 'Quakeresque' being very plain and with a centrally-focused, circular seating plan. And although I don't know whether it's a rented or an owned space, I would imagine the costs for preserving the chapel are less of a burden than more ancient buildings like Ullet Road Church with its beautiful, tens of thousands of pounds worth of, windows. Ultimately a church building is just another block of bricks and mortar - it's the community inside that counts.

4 comments:

Scott Wells said...

I know what Marmite is -- and strangely for an American, like it -- but I don't get what a Marmite response is. Please do tell.

Matt said...

It's where the general response is either loving something or hating it - the company itself offers a funny take on it - see www.marmite.com.

I'm guessing there is an American product that you could put in it's place? Barack Obama perhaps?!

Scott Wells said...

Thanks. Oh, dear. Well, I can do with less of the President. Perhaps more Marmite would help. And I rather like Cross Street. Recall looking in the windows a few years back. Think it had just been finished then. First Congregational, Washington, D.C. is doing much the same, if on a larger scale. (Not yet open, no photos to share.)

ogre said...

Reminds me of a plainer version of the interior image I've seen of the Charles Street Meeting House when Kenneth Patton was minister of the Universalist church there. Which is, on the whole, a good thing.