Our new church will be complete rubbish, says Kirk

By agency reporter
August 26, 2009

The Church of Scotland has released images of a church made entirely from beer cans, tyres and shipping containers - proudly proclaiming the building to be complete rubbish.

Designed by architect Lee Ivett, the proposed new building for Colston Milton Parish Church in the north of Glasgow, is part of a larger community campus to be owned and built by the people of Milton.

The sanctuary will be constructed in large part from old car tyres, while other parts of the building will be made from straw bales and old shipping containers.

In 2008 the congregation decided their future lay in a more environmentally-friendly building, as their current place of worship has a massive carbon footprint and a heating bill of £8,000 a year.

Members wanted an ecologically-sound new-build church, but were told this would cost millions of pounds. So they now hope to make it themselves with the help of their local community.

The church received a £43,000 grant from the Scottish government’s Climate Challenge Fund to carry out a feasibility study and these images show their dream and that of their community could soon become a reality.

Already members, of the community have collected almost half a tonne of beer and soft drinks cans. Because of the volume of cans being brought to the manse, Reverend Christopher Rowe has had to create a collection point next to the church.

Mr Rowe commented: “The response from the people of Milton has been fantastic. People of all ages have been helping collect old cans from the woods and bringing them in from home. These cans alone have cut nearly 10 tonnes of CO2 from Milton’s carbon footprint.

He added: “This time last year we were just dreaming and people thought our ideas were a bit mad but we have now shown that it can be done.

“Our new building may be ‘pure rubbish’ but it is also beautiful, we will be taking unwanted things and using them to create something new and exciting.

“It is a win-win-win situation, the community will gain confidence and skills through this project, the congregation and other local groups will get a new home and the environment will benefit from lower carbon emissions.”

The church will be part of a purpose-built centre for the whole of the local community. Other resources include a childcare facility, an internet café, a large theatre, office space and a games hall. It will be owned by community group LoveMilton, a new development trust set up as part of the project.

It is hoped that building could commence in the summer of 2010.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.