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From Churches to Champing  

Everyone knows about camping.  And most of us who camp know all about “glamping.”  It's a marriage between glamour and camping.  Think upscale trailers with luxurious amenities.  Trust me—if you haven't been to an RV dealer recently, you have no idea how cushy camping can be.

Yet an English charity, Britain's “Churches Conservation Trust,” now makes it possible to fall asleep in church—and not get hassled.  The Trust, which preserves some 350 “disused” churches, is a creative fundraising scheme to provide for their maintenance.  With no congregants to supply funds, it's tourism that now helps finance roof repairs, tuck-pointing and other maintenance.

Sleeping in an Abandoned Church...

For about $50 per person, you get the unique experience of sleeping overnight in an abandoned church.  Launched in 2014, they call it “champing.” But there's little luxury to be found here. Think basic necessities, not flat-panel TVs.  

An article in the April American Way Magazine points out, “You may find yourself sleeping in a pew, or using bathroom facilities that seem to predate Christ.”   Nevertheless, the idea has been gathering momentum.

I Have a Better Idea!

There are now 12 of these “converted” churches available from Scotland to England's deep south.  And more bookings were reserved in the first few days of the new season than all of last year.  Sadly, there seems to be more emotion invested in the preservation of the brick and stone, than any effort at ascertaining what went so wrong inside the walls that these houses or worship are now pseudo hotels.

I have a better idea.  Let's fill them up again—with worshippers!   Let's preach the Word with Holy Spirit Fire.  Let's fill these churches with people who will pray to God and “give Him no rest.”  Let's blast the ancient walls and the timbered ceilings with such a sound of praise, the very idea of dust settling anywhere is simply impossible because of all the Christ-honoring commotion.

By all means, let's abandon the “champing”--but not the churches!

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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