21/04/2014

UNDERGROUND RELIGION

Did you go to church this Easter? If you did, bells probably called you to a traditional building with an altar, pulpit and pews. Perhaps the light streamed in through stained glass windows?

Spare a thought for the inhabitants of Parque de la Reina, Tenerife.

Several years ago, when the population of our pueblo had reached a certain level, a plot of land was designated for a church. A huge hole was dug for the foundations and a couple of hundred people congregated to witness the Bishop consecrate the ground. The oldest local inhabitant was given the privilege of placing a daily paper in the specially-built little vault with the official Obispal papers.

Then nothing happened. A while later the vault was quietly and unceremoniously removed, presumably with its contents, the foundation hole was filled in and the site abandoned to become a dog toilet.

More years went by and then another hole appeared in a different place and this building went up - or rather, down. We were going to have a church after all, and this is its basement.

That's it - a basement. A priest comes once a week and says Mass on the stage using a table as an altar, the faithful sit on stacking chairs rather than pews, and there aren't any windows or bells, but half a church is better than none.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Lizy,

    A church going underground. That's a different concept. Certainly give them credit for being resourceful and not have that sinking feeling.

    Hope you had a peaceful Easter, my friend.

    Gary

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    1. Hi Gary - I missed a trick there, didn't I? I could have called my post "Underground Church" - perhaps I should change it!

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  2. That seems a shame.

    I'm not religious but I like visiting churches. They're often very beautiful buildings. This one wouldn't encourage me to get my camera out, but I'm sure it's important to its congregation.

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    1. This one has nothing going for it except its congregation, Patsy - but then before this they were meeting in a disused shop.

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  3. I'm surprised at this, and saddened, bearing in mind religion is generally more practiced in the Med. At least they have something I suppose. Though it's not exactly the restful retreat a church is supposed to be.

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    1. Lack of funds Maxi. Tenerife isn't in the Med - it's off the coast of Africa, and although officially under Spanish rule, is definitely a poor relation.

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