Monday, 18 December 2017

Church and chapel conversions

I'm now in the second year of a post graduate diploma in parish church studies and I'm enjoying it so much, learning about the history of churches and their care and conservation. One topic which frequently comes up in the press is what to do about churches that lie redundant, no congregation entering to sing hymns, long gone church fetes and no candles flickering in the stained glass windows. I love the buildings and their architecture and I'm all for them being reused for different purposes and one that appeals to me is turning them into glorious places to live, I've seen a few on the market  and if a graveyard as a back garden doesn't faze you too much then what incredible spaces to live.

Second stories and galleries can be created for upstairs living, contemporary and functional with perhaps a metal spiral staircase, look for staircases online UK, which will add the living space required and breathe new life into the forgotten church. I would love nothing more than sleeping by walls where so many have passed, wondering what lives have experienced, so much history in your home.
church conversion
Image from Rightmove
With the height that affords a church, why not have an amazingly sophisticated outdoor space too, a terrace if planning will allow, outdoor metal staircases flanked by bay trees to an entertaining area. Many churches were built during the Victorian area in cities and large towns when most people attended church, modern times and these churches are being sold off. Renovations changing use of these magnificent buildings. Many churches in London have been converted and there are some excellent examples to draw on, blending 19th century architecture with contemporary living. Given the large space, often they are converted to unique apartments - vaulted ceiling bedrooms with light streaming in through rose and huge leaded windows.
Church renovation
Image Rightmove

Many non-conformist chapels, such as Methodist chapels are also perfect renovation opportunities and they are to be found on the market with bespoke interiors. Smaller than Anglican churches, often these chapels are a better option as a single house. Rectangular shaped for the manner of preaching that was done within them and now a large space for open plan living. Unique exteriors and grand entrances creating the wow factor, sympathetically fitted with fixtures and fittings making the most of the building's heritage.
Methodist chapel
Image from Rightmove

I once had a look around a converted chapel with Sunday school attached which was on the market, a Grade II listed building retaining many of the original features. Such a clever conversion that whilst being a modern home on the inside, you could still clearly feel that you were in a historic building. Back then I wasn't into churches and I admit that I thought it might be a little creepy - oh how things change!

Living in a church would certainly be different and a commitment to take on board, consider the dimensions for heating and lighting, also to what degree you may make alterations. Friends often send me the details of churches they've seen for sale so you never know, it would be quite fitting for my studies.
Converted church bedroom
Image source Rightmove

*Collaborative Post

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