Essential Guide to Building a Church
Every church congregation needs a suitable location in which to worship and get together each week. Here’s how to approach the task of building a new church.
A church, first and foremost, is a place of worship. So, people and functionality should come before any material or stylistic concerns that you might have. How is your church building going to function each day? The answer to this question needs to be central to your planning process. I’d recommend keeping it as simple as possible in terms of the interior layout of the church. You should focus on what your worshippers need.
Every church needs space for people to sit during services and space at the front for a pulpit and altar. These are essential, and they take up a lot of space. There needs to be plenty of space in which services can be carried out, so, although money might be tight, don’t be tempted to skimp on space. If you’re not sure how to draw up plans, you could hire a church building contractor to do this for you. They can even do the building work for you too.
You need to remember that the church needs room to expand though. Even if you have a relatively small congregation at the moment, it might increase in the future. Every church should be looking for new ways in which they can expand the number of people who visit. And specific occasions like weddings or funerals could attract larger numbers of people, so keep this in mind when planning the layout.
Yes, I know I said function should come before style, and that is true. But that doesn’t mean that the style of your church isn’t important though because it is. The best churches in the world are those that successfully marry style with functionality. There’s no reason why the two should be entirely separate entities. Think about how the functional needs of the church can influence and be incorporated into the style of it.
You could do some research by taking inspiration from the great churches of the world. There’s the neoclassical buildings in Europe or the Russian Orthodox churches that look like something out of a cartoon - they’re truly unique. You probably don’t have the budget to create anything as ambitious as the Saint Basil’s Cathedral though. But that doesn’t mean you can’t steal ideas and take inspiration from the church buildings you love most.
Different strands of Christianity have different stylistic traditions, so you should think about this too. Some churches need to be more muted and austere in terms of the design. But other, such as gospel churches, are much more free and vibrant places filled with bright colours and adventurous patterns. Every church, no matter what the denomination, needs to have some interior design though. The front of the church, behind the altar, usually has crosses and other things, so don’t forget this.
If you manage to get the stylistic and functional concerns of your church right, you’re on the right track!