Sad State of Churches in France

Having recently shown you some of the beautiful architecture in France I thought I would show you the danger that it is in.  As far as I know, the French state owns most of the churches.  It just allows the people use them for worship, and so on.  When I was in Rouen I saw impressive repairs that had been made to the cathedral but I also saw plants growing on the roof of St Ouen’s (see here for my photos of these buildings).  It seems that there isn’t enough money to go around.  The huge church of St Ouen holds only one Mass per year and is used for art installations, and the like, for the rest of the time.  It was very sad to see a consecrated church crumbling and full of inappropriate artwork.

If a church is a big tourist attraction then it is safe for the time being but the rest…

2800 churches in France have recently been, or are soon to be, demolished.

And, before I get complaints, I know this is not just a problem in France.  For example, I know that the Church in Britain has sold a lot of its old high-maintenance buildings in favour of cheaper modern ones.  At least there, a lot of the old buildings are being preserved by private owners after being deconsecrated.

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Posted on October 22, 2016, in Christianity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. This is so difficult to watch. It has happened here as well. One hopes that at least some of the beautiful things from a church can be preserved or placed in another church.

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    • Yes, Patricia, the video is quite shocking isn’t it? I’m sorry to hear it is happening where you are too.
      I’ve heard that a lot of old church paraphenalia can be found for sale across Europe, even in the flea markets. Some of it is making it’s way back into refurbished churches though. When the Institute of Christ the King took over the Sacred Heart church in Limerick it had been gutted ready for commercial use. They had to refurbish the interior from scratch. I haven’t seen it yet but I hope to soon. I will post photos if I can. I’m hoping to go to a Mass that Cardinal Burke is celebrating there soon.

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  2. We had a beautiful church in our town torn down to put in a parking lot for a video store.

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  3. It’s a crying shame to loose beautiful buildings like those, which such skilled people built, their skill and history torn down in minutes and lost forever 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. while sad
    it nice some
    are being preserved
    against the inevitable 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you David. ❤
      You're right, it's good that some are being preserved. And they probably preserve the best ones too, whereas in other countries it might be a bit more random, depending on who is willing to buy and re-purpose or refurbish them.

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  5. It is a shame, and must be happening all over the Christian world, and probably for other faiths. So much money needed to keep them in good repair.

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  6. Oh that is so sad! I wish if not in use they could be converted to some other function as some have here. As you mentioned the British tend to be fond of beautiful old buildings, religious or otherwise which has saved many due to local preservation efforts.

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