Is that stained glass not your style? How to Repurpose and Reuse Church Components
If you’ve acquired a facility with stained glass that needs replacement, consider repairing and reusing it elsewhere. There are many ways to reuse old glass in new church facilities, helping to establish the purpose of the building and create a sense of community. Some of the old glass could be adapted and used in entryways as sidelights or as transoms over doors. They could be joined together as a divider or partition in the common areas. Damaged or old stained glass can be affixed against larger windows or illuminated in church offices or Sunday School rooms. They could be used in smaller meeting spaces such as a chapel, library or prayer room. The old, sacred stained glass will help distinguish a new facility from a school auditorium or theater.
If you do not want to reuse the stained glass in your facility, there are ways of selling it to other churches or antique stores for similar reuse. It can also be offered to the congregation for reuse, some members may be able to proudly display the glass in their homes or workplaces.
Organs can be moved and refurbished with proper care. If you have an organ that is no longer useful to you, it can often be sold or donated to another church or the local community center. The assessment of the strength of the case for relocation will sometimes be obvious and on other occasions delicately balanced. If you would like to place an advertisement, be sure to include the organ’s dimensions, age, and photographs. A full report should be made of an organ before it is dismantled, both when it is going straight to a new home and when it is not. Putting an organ into storage is very much a last resort and is generally not advisable, buyers want to see and hear what they are getting.
Do you have pews that no longer meet the needs of your congregation? The friendliest option is to donate or sell them to another local church in need of new seating. Pews are also commonly trimmed down and sold to the congregation and community for reuse as benches in residential homes. They can also be donated to the local community center or senior citizen center for use in large meeting areas. Although the wood won’t hold up outdoors in some climates, pews donated to local governments can provide comfort at bus stations or community gardens. Another option is to sell them to a rental company – many outdoor weddings are attempting to blend the feeling of a traditional church service with nature and wooden pews are a trending request.
Bible & Hymnal Reuse
If your congregation has been blessed with new bibles or hymnals, take a second thought before disposing of your discarded books. Offering them to your congregation for home use is a viable way to reuse worship materials. Books can also be donated to other local churches or shelters.
Just as you do at home, think first before throwing something out from your place of worship. Although a purpose may not be immediately evident, items from your church have the ability to serve and please others for years to come.
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- A Guide to Federal Religious Land Use Protections December 18, 2016
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