What to Do with England’s Empty Churches? Turn Them into Concert Venues

With church attendance declining, there are plenty of empty places of worship that could be repurposed. In England, some of these buildings are being turned into venues for rock’n’roll. Oh, the irony. From The Telegraph:

For centuries, they have been filled with congregations singing hymns to send spirits soaring.

Now, empty churches are to be filled with the sound of pop, rock and folk music, in a bid to make them the centres of the community once again.

Dave Stewart, of the Eurythmics, has partnered with the Churches Conservation Trust to bring a series of concerts to England’s historic churches, aiming to “repurpose England’s most venerated and historic buildings for their original purpose: the creation and celebration of music”.

The first stage of the project, entitled Church Keys, saw Stewart, Chris Difford, and Nik Kershaw perform at All Saints’ Church at Langport, near Glastonbury last week.

The Lake Poets, the folk-pop band, will take up the baton for the next gig before the project is spread across the country, in churches that are no longer in regular use by parishioners.

Loyd Grossman, chairman of the  Churches Conservation Trust, said the buildings would remain consecrated, with “sacred buildings having a different feeling to just a secular building”.

He told the Telegraph: “In order to ensure the future of these buildings we want to make them what they used to be, when the parish church was the hub of the community.

It’s amusing to think of Satan smiling somewhere. Read the whole story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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