Churches Near Me
A church is a building used for Christian worship services. The word comes from an old Greek term meaning “belonging to a Lord”, and churches were originally referred to as “houses of a Lord”. Different Christian faiths sometimes have different architectures for their religious buildings. In traditional Christian architecture, a church is shaped rather like a Christian cross.
A Catholic church building is usually called a cathedral. Today many churches have survived intact for hundreds of years, and some are still in use for regular services. You can easily find churches in your area, simply search “Churches near me”.
Churches Near Me – Find it on the Map
Churches Near Me – Churches Trivia
What is the history of churches?
The earliest Christians did not have churches. Instead they worshiped Christ either by gathering in homes, or else using Jewish synagogues. According to Christian beliefs, the first church in the world was the Cenacle, in Jerusalem, which was the site of the Last Supper. The oldest church for which there is archaeological evidence is the Dura-Europos church, located in Dura-Europos in Syria. The church seems to have been a normal home that was converted to be a place of worship, some time around 233-256 AD. The frescos from the church were removed and preserved at the Yale University Art Gallery, but due to recent conflicts in Syria, the status of the ruins themselves are unknown.
What were churches used for?
Apart from religious service, churches were used for other activities too. Their typically large size permitted many people to enter, and so could be used for large gatherings. In Medieval Europe, churches were sometimes used as meeting places for guilds; and at other times as banquet halls. Churches were also used for fairs and sometimes even mystery plays.
How important are churches to the community?
Many churches help out the community in which they are built. Aside from offering religious services, many churches support charities. Some will pass around a collection plate during services, in order to raise money for the poor. Others band together to do volunteer work. Some offer ‘soup kitchen’ programs, in which the homeless or needy can come to the church for free meals. Still other churches may offer temporary accommodation in times of disaster, also giving clothing and essentials to those in need.
How widespread are churches?
Today, Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with about 2.2 billion believers. This is approximately 31 percent of the world’s total population. With Christianity existing in one form or another across the entire world, there are a great many churches today. Church buildings are widely varied, from simple one room buildings up to grand old cathedrals. The largest church in the world is Saint Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican. This church has an interior area of 163 thousand square feet! The Christian church owns a vast quantity of land around the world, including the Vatican, and every church building around the world. The Vatican is often claimed to be extremely rich, but its revenue is about $355 million, small compared to the richest large corporations and individuals.
For your nearest church, search “Churches near me”.
Churches Near Me – Churches Facts
Some churches have spooky qualities. Saint Leonard’s Church in Kent, England, has a collection of over one thousand human skulls! Some theories state that the skulls belong to Danish pirates killed in battles, while others state that they are the fallen soldiers from the Battle of Hastings, in 1066; however no firm evidence has been found.
Saint Mary’s Church in North Hertfordshire, England, has medieval graffiti inside it. Written in Latin, one states “The corners are not joined correctly. I spit on them”, while another crudely insults the Archdeacon of the church.
The Church of England church in Wiltshire, England, claims to be the smallest church in Britain. The interior space measures 13 feet by 11 feet, can fit ten people inside, and has a tiny cemetery in the yard. The church holds a single service each year. The Cross Island Chapel in New York state claims to be the smallest church in the world. It sits on a wooden platform in the center of a pond. The church has room for three people – a minister and two church-goers. The inside of the church measures just 29 square feet!
The oldest Christian church in America is the Cathedral of San Juan Buatista, in Puerto Rico. It was built in 1521, but destroyed in a hurricane and rebuilt in 1540. Since Puerto Rico was annexed by the US in 1898, the church has been on American land. The oldest church in the continental US is the San Miguel Mission in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Created by the native Mexicans in 1610, most of the structure was recreated in 1710. The oldest church in continual use, however, is the Old Trinity Church in Church Creek, Maryland. This Episcopal church was created in 1675.
Outside of the town of Bergamo, Italy, there is a natural church growing. Artist Giuliano Mauri began work in 2011, using wooden structures, nails and string to form a guide for trees to grow, so that they would grow into a natural church. As the trees grow into a cathedral, the wooden structures will eventually wither away to leave an entirely natural tree church!
In the forests of Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany, by the Czech border, there is another unusually-crafted church. Opened in 2011, the church is made entirely of ice and snow! It cost about 100 thousand euros to create, and used 49 thousand cubic feet of snow and slabs of ice!
Another unusual church in Europe was created in Haspengouw, Belgium. The church is made of stacked layers and columns of plates of steel, and so is virtually transparent!
The Harajuku Protestant Church is located in Tokyo and was created in 2005. The church sports a space-age futuristic design. The interesting fact about this church is that the interior was created specially to reverberate sounds around the building for two seconds, thus giving the church-goers a unique listening experience!
To find a church in your area, search “Churches near me”.