Turning a Church into a Home or Business

Society has grown more secular in recent years. The change has produced a ready supply of old churches that can be suitable for conversion into a home or business. These grand old buildings come up for sale frequently in a variety of locations and states of repair. Just looking around our own area, some churches are now:-
  • Old People Homes
  • Art Galleries
  • Stained Glass and Mirror Producers
  • As well as Homes.

Difficulties You May Face

There are many hurdles to jump before you can turn one of these majestic old buildings into the home or business of your dreams. You will have to deal with several bodies, not including those that may be on the grounds. Planning permission, change may be a problem that needs to be overcome. You may have to deal with the ecclesiastical authorities to facilitate the disinterment and reburial if a graveyard is involved. Financing the purchase of an unusual property may require specialist help from an organisation such as getmemymortgage.co.uk . Many lenders are reluctant to lend on this unusual property type, but there are specialists out there if you know where to look.

End Result

Whether for a home or a business, you know if you convert a church, you will end up with a property of distinction. For a business, the locations of most urban churches are those with a high population density; if the footfall is a concern, you should be well placed to achieve your business aims. Residential is similar. Churches have always been built with a sense of grandeur and majesty. The high ceilings, frequent use of beams and grand windows lend themselves to be built into a home of distinction. Many conversions quickly appreciate in value and provide a good return.

Loosing Their Religion: Mel Gibson, Stephenie Meyer, Scientology, and the Cult of Religious Celebrities

God takes many forms in Hollywood, all of them fairly strange. There are, of course, many traditionally religious celebrities who keep their God opinions to themselves. For every zany Jesus freak with a crack addict zeal, like Stephen Baldwin, there’s Tom Hanks with a personal and private relationship with Christianity, or the late Dennis Weaver’s who practiced Buddhism, and many other celebrities on any number of other spiritual paths.
“Religion” in old Hollywood was strict and uniform. It was just understood that one participated, at least by giving the world the impression they did. These days, fundamentalist religion in Hollywood seems to attract out-of-control celebs who thirst for an authoritarian religion to contain them (which they insist everyone else who can behave must also embrace) because they can’t do it themselves. Kelsey Grammer, Stephen

Baldwin and Jon Voight come to mind

More recent religions often prefabricate their own little celebrity recruiting systems. The Mormon Church has high-profile adherents like the Osmonds, and more recently Stephenie Meyer. Mormon folk are known to encourage new people to attend their church with promises of meeting celebrities. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have (although they probably wish they didn’t at this point) the Jackson clan. Jimmy Stewart was another Witness, though a much quieter and more dignified one.

And then there’s the religion that Charlie Manson studied for several weeks and then rejected as “too crazy.” It’s the religion that the Church of Satan has requested stop using CoS as a nickname due to negative associations. It’s the church of Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and tons of other well-known and less-well-known stars. Even Jerry Seinfeld played the Thetan game for awhile. Scientology is a hugely powerful religion and, like all hugely powerful autocracies, it is immensely paranoid. Everyone knows about that. No revelation there.

L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, once remarked, “If you want to get rich, start a business. If you want to get really rich, start a religion.” At least he was honest about it.

Actor/singer Della Reese didn’t start a religion

But she did found her own church, the Understanding Principles for Better Living Church in Los Angeles, CA. On Sundays, she becomes Pastor Della to her faithful following. And no one is getting rich from it.

Far less benign and more secretive, we come to the Holy Family Chapel in the rural Santa Monica area. It is 9310 square feet and sits on around twenty acres off Mulholland Drive in Agoura, CA.. The Holy Family Chapel, although Catholic in essence, is not affiliated with the Catholic Church. Holy Family Chapel prefers to use a doctrine that is pre-Vatican II. An elderly priest is flown in from Seattle every weekend to serve Mass, which is always and always in Latin. The church is run by the mysterious A.P. Reilly Foundation. The foundation becomes less mysterious, though, when you find out that A.P. Reilly was the late wife of a man named Hutton Gibson. A.P. and Hutton had eleven children including a son they named Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson.

It seems Hutton Gibson is of the opinion that the Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s was a Jewish-led Masonic plot to take over the church. He also privately expresses the opinion that the Holocaust didn’t happen. Apparently, Mel was able to persuade his church that his twenty year marriage “didn’t happen” either. It was recently annulled, after numerous children had been born.

If only the same could be said for Mel Gibson.

Mel’s church is carefully screened for the unfaithful so be sure to show your God card at the door. Mel is probably also watchful for the occasional low-flying Mason. It is said he can be heard during most Sunday services singing very, very loudly and rarely on-key. There are a couple of hundred regular worshipers.

Actor Gary Busey also created his own church — and really his own religion. He just kind of put the pieces together by himself. He has a private Sunday morning service which is held inside his own home. Church begins promptly at 5 AM. Surprisingly, there are about as many Church of Busey parishioners as there are guests at your sister-in-law’s crystal party. Still and all, Gary Busey has had something of a career resurgence with his street preacher maniac persona. It may be real, the result of brain damage caused in the long-ago motorcycle crash that very nearly killed him. Or it may be a useful idiot image. Either way, at least he’s funny and strangely charming in his more lucid moments.

The Pope Abolishes Limbo. How Does that Work?

Although I am not Catholic, I do follow the politics of the Catholic Church rather closely. I have several friends who are Catholic and I appreciate their dedication to their faith.
Reading the headlines today, that Limbo has been abolished by order of the Pope, I found myself stunned yet again by the arrogance of the Catholic Church.

Who in their right mind believes they have a right to say there is a Limbo in the first place? How do we even know that Limbo exists. Now Catholics are told that Limbo no longer exists? Isn’t the question just the opposite, perhaps there really is a Limbo.

Vatican City and the Catholic Church is really very similar to most countries. The politics involved in the church is often even more complicated that a large nation. Similar to most countries, history is also re-written to accommodate the needs of the people and rulers at the time.

Every country and church has re-written history, and doctrine to meet their needs on more than one occasion. Perhaps faith needs to be re-evaluated. Western civilization is losing its faith. We are losing not just our faith, but our leaders in faith as well.

The goal of the faithful who believe in a higher power is not to argue and tear down another’s faith. It is to accept the fact that each person’s faith is individually crafted to meet their needs as they seek guidance from the spirit they believe in.

Take into the consideration the definition of sin. Is sin really the same for each person? Perhaps the 10 Commandments from the Bible are pretty cut and dried, but sin does actually vary for each person. As an example, think of a person who is addicted to alcohol. Most of us can have an occasional drink at dinner or with friends, but to someone addicted to alcohol, drinking could be considered a sin because they are not able to control their actions.

As we age, many are concerned about an afterlife. I’ve met people who are scared of dying. Often we are so afraid of dying that we often won’t let go of a loved one that should be allowed to pass on. Have faith that an afterlife is out there, you just need to look for it in the right place.

Dan Brown’s New Book, The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown and his book are synonymous with lost symbols and religious conspiracies. Brown has only written a few books, but it helps that they were among the most controversial best sellers of this era. Apparently, Brown has one more book like that in him, as The Lost Symbol is set to be released in the fall. In the tradition of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol is bringing Robert Langdon back for another puzzle to solve.

Dan Brown’s third book in the Langdon series will be released on September 15, with 5 million initial copies ready for release. What is the major conspiracy that the Church is covering up in this latest Brown/Langdon book?

No advance word is out on that yet

From the teaser, The Lost Symbol may be half of 24, as it promises to follow 12 hours in the life of Professor Langdon, as he solves another puzzle in record time. There is speculation that The Lost Symbol could capitalize on the lead up to the Mayan end of the world predictions in 2012.

The news of the latest Brown book comes just before the second movie adaptation of one of his books comes out. Angels and Demons was Brown’s first best seller and his introduction to Langdom and church conspiracies. Yet it was the sequel, The Da Vinci Code, that made Brown the scourge of Catholic and a few book critics.

Brown was likely classified as a modern day heretic at the peak of Da Vinci Code hype. But the Vatican and Opus Dei have weathered the storm, as have Brown’s book sales. However, the failed movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code in 2006 may have helped drive the hype down a peg.

The movie sequel/prequel Angels and Demons comes in with a lot less attention and expectation, and less of Tom Hanks’ infamous hairdo as Langdon. The first Brown book merely had the Vatican wage war against the secret Illuminati society over the beginning of creation, instead of saying Jesus was a father.

Dan Brown’s new book will be hard pressed to top blowing the lid off of Jesus’s bloodline with The Lost Symbol, but he will be sure to give it a go. His fans have five months to get their cryptexes ready again.