United Brethren has retired.

Visitors welcome?



The sign says "Visitors Welcome," a sentiment dampened somewhat by the iron railings and padlocks designed to keep Gentiles OUT! It seems to me that the Church would do better in Europe (and elsewhere) if we attempted to be part of our surrounding communities; fortified islands like this are simply alien dots on the landscape that will attract few visitors.

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 13, 2005 7:56 PM) 

In many places there is a need for a fence and what-not as prophylaxis against vandalism. I would think this is not the case in the UK, though. 

Posted by J. Stapley

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 14, 2005 12:14 AM) 

When I was in LA on a mission, the Church built a new stake center just off the USC campus. Not a great part of town, to put it tactfully. If anywhere needs protection against vandalism, you'd think it would be there. But there's no fence (except to the attached parking garage) because I think there simply wasn't room.

I remember some minor vandalism--scratches on the scratch-resistant glass windows, for example. But the whole time I was there I don't remember any more serious defacement. (Maybe those bloggers who live in LA can make a more accurate/recent assessment.)

In any case, I wonder if the costs of cleaning up occasional vandalism might not be outweighed by the benefits of presenting a more welcoming facade...

Are there places where this is a more significant problem than it seems to be in inner city LA?

 

Posted by Justin H

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 14, 2005 11:56 AM) 

Our church was recentley spray painted. It was quickly cleaned up. It was obviously the work of bored kids and not motivated by hate. The shock - we live in Bountiful. The bigger shock - the church has a fulltime crew to take care of this stuff in Utah. 

Posted by RS

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 14, 2005 6:50 PM) 

Our Stake Centre (Northern England) was one of these chapels you dream of. It was open plan for almost 40 years. In that time it was used as a football pitch, target practice for golfers (usually the balls going through the windows), a hang-out for young couples wanting to make out, a driving track for learner drivers, a hang out for drug addicts, drug deals, stolen cars dumped and set on fire. A week didn't go by without something being damaged or a car being broken into. That's all before they got into the building, then there was theft and vandalism.

The neighbours begged the church to get more security. We got a fence and it all stopped! The fence must have paid for it's self in a few months and improved community relations no end.

I shocked that as a Brit you don't realise the problems many chapels face here. 

Posted by Sue O

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 14, 2005 8:32 PM) 

"When I was in LA on a mission, the Church built a new stake center just off the USC campus. Not a great part of town, to put it tactfully. If anywhere needs protection against vandalism, you'd think it would be there. But there's no fence (except to the attached parking garage) because I think there simply wasn't room.

I remember some minor vandalism--scratches on the scratch-resistant glass windows, for example. But the whole time I was there I don't remember any more serious defacement. (Maybe those bloggers who live in LA can make a more accurate/recent assessment.)
 "

I was just in that neighborhood a month or so ago, and it's still the same as you describe. Clean, well-maintained, and undefaced. It's rather amazing, actually--my wife commented on how being near it gave her a distinct feeling of peace and tranquility, and she's not even LDS. It's almost as if a little piece of the Los Angeles temple was transplanted across town.

In general, it's been my experience that LDS buildings in California share this characteristic of being a cut above whatever area they're built in. It may well be different elsewhere. 

Posted by Son of Clint

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 16, 2005 12:17 PM) 

That's good to hear, Son of Clint. Thanks for the update. 

Posted by Justin H

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 17, 2005 6:35 AM) 

Sue,
The fence was put up to keep skateboarders out, I think. I see the wisdom of fences, but they could look nicer. Why don't anglican churches have fences, and why doesn't anyone vandalise them? Answer: because they look like houses of worship and are respected even by yobs. Many of our chapels don't produce much respect (even by members). 

Posted by Ronan

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (June 21, 2005 8:01 PM) 

As a former teenage skateboarder I can assure you that numerous churches, whether Anglican, Catholic, LDS, or Baptist or whatever have property damage caused by skateboarders that the uninitiated eye does not see. Look at the curbs and concrete ledges at or around the building. If they are black and chipped, it is the result of skateboarding (or perhaps rollerblading).  

Posted by john fowles

 

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