Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Meeting Room, Defford, Worcestershire

Corrugated iron has so much going for it. It’s easy to produce, light and cheap to transport, strong, and simple to use. Corrugated iron buildings can be put up quickly, by people without specialist skills. The material can be used to roof broad unsupported spans and is equally at home creating curved or straight surfaces. And another thing: it can look good too.

In spite of all its advantages, most people think of corrugated iron as a lowly material, good for barns, shanty towns, and temporary buildings. Well, here’s a building that’s been standing for over a century and, thanks to a recent lick of paint, is looking as good as ever. It’s a church, one of hundreds of ‘tin churches’ that were put up at the end of the Victorian period to satisfy demand quickly. Many were ordered as flat-packs from companies, often British, who shipped them to the far reaches of the empire – or to needy clients nearer home. The people who put up this ‘Meeting Room’ probably didn’t think that it would still be here in a hundred years’ time, but it’s still functioning, still hosting the weekly service where the Gospel is preached, as the notice says, ‘If the Lord will’.

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