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October 22, 2006

Green is the colour

Kirkintilloch Baptist Church have made the local and national (in so far as the Sunday Post is a national) news this week. the reason, their new building, I should say 'our' new building on the High Street. The headlines are not good - front page of the Post - 'Seeing red over new green church'. Green you say - yes green. The new Church building - built on the present site is clad roof and sides with 'green copper'. Locally this has led to it being referred to as 'the big green shed'. If you want to see what it looks like visit the slide show at www.kirkiebaptist.com.

The reports in both newspapers talk about how unhappy people are with the building which has a total cost of around 1.85 million pounds. It would also be true to say that many of the congregation are not keen on it either.

My responses are as follows:

I am not sure that all those who are objecting from the local community actually get 'church'. They speak about how lovely the old building was - although I am not sure that they ever entered it. For the sake of an image of 'beauty' they would like to retain nice looking buildings like attractive museum pieces. Actually there is another old church building in the town - it is an Indian restaurant - but it is pretty!!!

I hope that the issue is not that it is 'green' rather than 'blue'.

The building does look like the plans that we in the church saw. The shape of the roof and indeed the cladding were not our original choice - but were 'suggestions' made by the planning department required in order to get permission to build. But having accepted that what we now have is what we all voted for although many feel that it is bigger and greener than they imagined.

The building is not finished. Only one part has so far been built with the entire complex not due to be finished till next spring when the integrated complex will be visible which it is not at present. only then will folks be able to fully appreciate its design.

Inside is meant to be stunning - but more than that it provides the flexible facilities desperately needed for the church to develop its ministry and mission in the future which would quite simply not have been possible in the old building.

To be sure the building is striking - actually it pushes boundaries as art, it is bold, it is new, it is creative, it is adventurous, it is the future - and I think more importantly that through the sacrifices of many people it is a 'gift of God' to us as a congregation. Now the question is whether we can respond both to the criticisms and some of our own feelings and to the gift with the kind of creativity and imagination that the architect has shown.

Me I would be happy to belong to 'the big green shed' Church - I would change our name and embrace the future...I love its boldness...

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Comments

I like it. Does it look like the plans? Haven't a clue - I'm one of these people who can't see something 2D and then see it 3D - actually I suspect that very few of us can and so little wonder people are surprised by it (and other things like how that wall paper looks on the wall - nothing like the wee square brought home from the shop!).
I think you're right that people have mixed up "old traditional, pretty (useless!!) building" for church. I say pretty useless - most people who tried to organise events in the pretty old traditional building must have come up against the huge problems I did. And as for disabled access....well.... Personally I can't wait to see inside it. Wonder how many of the people who complain will venture over the door? Wonder if the members of the congregation who don't like it will give it a chance once they're inside? (and be big enough to change their minds if they like it!)
I wonder just how many people the Sunday Post or the Kirkie Herald spoke to? I wonder what question/s they were asked? Newspapers don't always accurately print what is said and let's face it - seeing red over new green church will sell more papers than some positive report about a new church building!! My goodness - church is supposed to be irrelevant and meaningless and they're supposed to close down and become nightclubs or houses not be vibrant places people might want to go to!!

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