Posted by Richard Haut on February 17, 2003 at 09:32:59:
In Reply to: Re: What does church architecture actually do in culture? posted by zakiyeh on February 16, 2003 at 23:08:07:
fascinating subject, and Roger is right to take the question back to the end of World War II. What makes this strange is that, while Britain may be seen as an increasingly secular state now, the Church was and remained very important at least into the 1960s.
As I have seen it, many developments have failed to find any sort of focus. The church being, along with the market square, the traditional centre of a community.
Take it a stage further and look at the effects of out-of-town shopping and the demise of Britain's town-centres begins to imply exactly the sort of alienation and sense of not-belonging that is the reverse side of what Zakiyeh is saying.
Here in southern France, people do still tend to be much more concerned with religion, and the church is an important part of the community. Can one go so far as to say that a community without a focus - whether a church or other equivalent centre - is almost by definition not a community ?
What might be interesting to look at is how churches did - and did not - figure in the various New Town schemes.
I'd be interested to read the article when it is ready.
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