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Re-pitching the Tent: Re-ordering Your Church Building for Worship and Mission [Paperback]

Richard Giles
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Canterbury Press Norwich; 2nd Revised edition edition (April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853112453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853112454
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
The village church on the North Cornwall coast was far fuller than I had expected, and it shone with the effects of tender loving care. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Many clergy look at their buildings and do not see the muddle that they expect their congregations to worship in, many attempts at re-ordering are mainly attempts to keep "the vicarr" happy without challenging the role of the building in the day to day mission of the church. Glies' book is well laid out and easy to read.Much of what he says makes sense, but trying to convince many congregations that the wholesale renewal of their parish depends on clearing most of the furniture away will prove to be difficult. But if this book stops one more brass vase or plaster statue or homemade cheap banner being erected, then it will have served its purpose well. Read it for inspiration, Read it when the Bishop stops anything. Look at what he says and see what effect that can have upon the nature and life of the church
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous in the wrong hands 19 July 2011
We had a vicar that became totally obsessed with this book, and as a result he wanted the pews ripped out and 'comfortable seating' put in; sermons could no longer be preached from the pulpit but had to be at ground level 'amongst the people'; priests had to stop sitting near the altar facing the congregation and had to be 'amongst the congregation' instead; we no longer had coffee in our large church hall (with a good kitchen) and instead it was served at the back of the church, which was very inconvenient with no facilities, not even running water - but it was considered that 'everything must take place in the church'. The vicar stated that we would no longer kneel for Holy Communion but had to stand and queue up in a production line -- actually being told 'If anyone kneels, I won't give them Holy Communion'.... This is just a fraction of what happened purely as a result of a vicar reading this book.

Within less than a year the congregation dwindled to such an extent that the church closed and was eventually demolished to make way for social housing. A thriving church community was absolutely ripped apart and still suffers the scars to this day. Some people could not face starting again elsewhere, and have not been to church since.

So I would say, by all means read this book - but my first hand experience is that it can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. If you like church traditions, the peace and holiness of an old church building etc, then this book is probably not for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read 23 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't read the whole book yet but after skipping through it there is obviously some good information on how to rejuvenate your church
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4.0 out of 5 stars thoughtful ideas... 21 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lots of ideas to get you thinking in this book.
Highly recommended.
A thought provoking book for anyone in ministry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For churches that really want to re-pitch their tent! 24 May 2000
By Ronald A. McCreery - Published on
"Re-pitching the Tent, reordering the church building for worship and mission" is not just a good book for those who want to re-design, or design, their worship space - it's a great book. Written by an Englishman, Richard Giles, it is primarily for liturgical churches, but can be used by any worshipping Christian community. It is liberally illustrated with many color pictures and written in an open, sprightly, and sometimes bitingly observant manner. Our church, an Episcopal Church, is using it to re-evaluate our worship space. A member of the committee charged with leading this re-evaluation said in a recent meeting that she hated reading religious books, books on architecture, and books on church history. She went on to say that this book fit all three categories and was absolutely fantastic, and that every member of the congregation should read it! If you fit the re-evaluation category, get it. You won't regret this great process in re-pitching your worship space!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even traditionalists will learn a thing or two! 7 May 2002
By Fr. Robert F. Lyons - Published on
Richard Giles' "Re-Pitching the Tent" will be a read that is very intimidating to the traditional Anglican/Catholic/Lutheran who is used to (and attached to!) the traditional Sanctuary, Chancel, Choir, Nave arrangement of our Churches. The Parish I pastor meets in a small space, so making the most of what we have is important. Giles shows us through his insight ways of making your space count, and how to arrange for worship in such a manner that we express a theology that highlights the participation of the people of the Congregation while still having a very distinct president of the Assembly to lead the Liturgy.
Not all traditionalists will find themseves warming to his ideas at once, but I think, when they compare this book to the modes of the early Church, they may well find some use for the author's suggestions. I know our parish did!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunate Purhase 2 July 2009
By B. McFarland - Published on
As an architect involved in the design of sacred spaces, I am extraordinarily disappointed. "Re-ordering" should be replaced by Dis-ordering". Insufficient appreciation of liturgical forms veiled behind an appeal to primitivism is an old and not very sustainable saw.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening and helpful reading 23 Nov 2010
By maggie - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helpful to all churches or religious groups interested in looking at their buildings and worship with new eyes,and a vision of attacting new members. It addresses ways of re-organizing the building you have or looking to a new space that may be more efficient and useful for worship today. Certainly gives the reader lots to think about.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repitching the Tent 27 Sep 2010
By L. M. Sturge - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first used this book in connection with a church reordering about 15 years ago. We are now ready to reorder again after major damage in the Christchurch NZ 4/9/2010 earthquake. The book was so good it has disappeared from the church library! I decided to purchase my own - it is as fresh and relevant today as it was then.
11/2011 - sad news - as a result of cntinued earthquake activity our historic stone church has been demolished. The tent we repitch will be very different.
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