Sunday, March 02, 2008

Church Spire remnant. About five years ago, when I was having weekly driving lessons, my instructor Bill Berry used to make disparaging comments as I was steering cautiously through Bowburn, Co.Durham about the curious neo-modernist church situated in the town's main council estate. Concentrating on the road, I was unable to take too much notice of the eccentric building he was pointing out. What I did fleetingly take in was extraordinary - a bizarre metal and fibreglass 1970's edifice, the roof an Armadillo-like backbone of spiky red triangles with an equally eccentric spire which looked like an upturned shark's tail. A friend recently informed me the notorious metal church had been demolished due to it being declared an unsafe structure.

By chance, I returned to Bowburn this week and on a sharp, brightly-lit morning on the cusp between Winter and Spring, I was delighted to see the spire of the metal church is still in place, proudly pointing upwards amid a blank area of mud and rubble where the main body of the church once stood. I took a photograph which you can see above, but information about the original church remains elusive. All I can unearth is the building was a Church of England place of worship dedicated to Christ The King and local parishioners are still raising money to build a safer replacement. When their new church is eventually finished I predict much fewer double-takes from passing drivers.

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