New study: Beautiful churches and cathedrals an important force in bringing conversions [Aleteia]

Discussion in 'Anglican and Christian News' started by World Press, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. World Press

    World Press Active Member

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    New study: Beautiful churches and cathedrals an important force in bringing conversions

    Philip Kosloski | Jun 20, 2017


    The church building is more influential than a youth group, study suggests.

    According to a new study by the British-based Christian youth organization Hope Revolution Partnership, tried and true tools of evangelization, such as the church building itself, are very influential in a young person’s conversion to Christianity.

    The Telegraph revealed the results of the study, stating that, “Around 13 percent of teenagers said that they decided to become a Christian after a visit to a church or cathedral.”

    Even more surprising was the report’s finding that the “influence of a church building was more significant than attending a youth group, going to a wedding, or speaking to other Christians about their faith.”

    In fact, “The study suggests that new methods invested in by the Church, such as youth groups … are less effective than prayer or visiting a church building in attracting children to the Church.”

    While the study was only directed at those involved with the Church of England, the results appear to confirm what many University Centers across the country are discovering. For example, at the St. Thomas Aquinas Church at the University of Nebraska Newman Center, a recent building project put the church structure at the center of evangelization efforts.

    Students helped plan the new church building, which was built according to traditional architecture. Bishop James Conley of Lincoln explained in an interview with Adoremus, “We think the style and the whole structure of St. Thomas Aquinas Church will communicate beauty, and beauty attracts. … We believe that students will be drawn to that. They already have. There are always students in there. They’re drawn to the beauty and lifted up.”

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    Botolph likes this.
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Traditional ecclesiastical architecture (especially Gothic architecture) has established the idea of the dialogue between the Transcendence and Immanence, and as such speak of the Gospel and our response to it. The Church Building stands in part as a billboard in the community reminding us that there is more to this community than meets the eye. Those who mow lawns, polish brass, ... are involved in the evangelical task of the Church as well as those who preach.

    Sadly recently I read a discussion paper by architects about a proposed new church building which spoke of the key function as the centrality of the kitchen. I asked about the altar to be told that they could use a portable trestle if they ever did need one.
    Aidan likes this.

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