Throughout the City of St. Louis you will see steeples from the many churches.Â Most are outstanding structures.Â Some are still used while others are vacant and deteriorating.
Last weekend one of my brothers, visiting from Oklahoma City, wanted to see the New Cathedral.Â I hadn’t been inside in over 15 years so I was game to take him.
The mosaic tile work is stunning.Â As an atheist I don’t get the religious symbolism.Â What I appreciate from our old churches is the quality of construction — the permanence of the buildings.
Most are not opulent like the New Cathedral. While we’ll probably never see this level of opulence again I am dismayed by the cheapness of so many new churches.
The metal is starting to be attached to this church under construction on NorthÂ Florissant Rd., just North of downtown.Â The building will never inspire anyone.Â If it manages to last 100 years people won’t take tours of the historic structure.
My brother and I debated the importance of new church structures.Â He felt the money spent on the great buildings would be better spent serving the mission, such as helping the poor.Â While I agree there is a need to serve others I have an issue with every new building being reduced to the lowest standards.Â A church is no different than a warehouse. This cheapens the neighborhoods where these are built.Â Churches are often the finest buildings in a community.Â When you make a cheap church the housing around it will not surpass the established quality level.Â A cheap church = cheap housing.
– Steve Patterson