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nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 04:41 AM

Champing in England

We have glamping now champing. Many churches in England are unused and falling into disrepair so to raise funds to restore them an organization is allowing people to stay overnight in a local church for $200/night. The above is an interesting article and makes me want to give it a try. What about you?

StCirq Mar 4th, 2018 04:55 AM

No way. It's 4 X what we normally pay for a good night's sleep in Europe on a real mattress and an available bathroom, without bells waking us up every hour. I'm surprised that municipal taxes can't pay to restore these churches. That's how it happens where we live. Our tiny little Romanesque chapel in St-Cirq is being completely restored this year to the tune of something like 40,000 euros, which is a big deal for this tiny comunity but it's being paid for with local taxes; I'm trying to imagine what machinations the mayor's office would have to go through to let people in and out to spend an uncomfortable night in there, and it's not a pretty thought, though I can suppose some people would find it "special." I'd rather spend the night in an adjacent field.

nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 05:16 AM

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I hope that the local authorities would begin to provide a more comfortable stay (including silencing the bells, providing sleeping accommodations and bathroom facilities). I can't see most of these churches being used for churches again as non-attendance is one of the major reasons these churches are not being used. But, it would be great to designate them as historical places to and allow someone to come in and commercially oversee them being used as accommodations. I would love to stay under those conditions (I think...).

BTW where do you stay in Europe for $50./night?
And is this the little chapel? I googled restoration romanesque church st cirq. It is rather large!

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StCirq Mar 4th, 2018 05:50 AM

No, no, no, that is not *my* St-Cirq, but rather the hugely touristy St-Cirq-Lapopie, 2 hours south from here. This is where I live, just around the corner and up the lane from this prehistoric grotte:

I can't find, not surprisingly, any photos of our local chapel, but I can wander down there and take pictures of it if you like. Like so many other regional chapels it has significant historical appeal, being on the Route de Compostelle among other things, and is of course where all or most of the local inhabitants are buried. But yes, like so many other churches all over Europe, it is underserved. A priest comes by only every two months or so, as there are few people interested in attending a service and there are precious few priests. When we hear the bells ring (maybe twice a year), it means someone has died or there is a wedding.

I do copious research for accommodations when we travel, as we often do, all over Europe. I get a 10% discount for any reservations for being on their "genius" (HAH!) list, and we get discounts with our IBIS membership cards, and, well, I'm just really scrupulous about my research. My goal when I plan trips is to make traveling cost just a bit more than it costs us to live here day to day, and with some exceptions I make that happen.

xcountry Mar 4th, 2018 06:14 AM

Originally Posted by nanabee (Post 16687152)
Many churches in England are unused and falling into disrepair

I’m unused and falling into disrepair too so that sounds ideal. Would the hosts provide hosts for breakfast?

thursdaysd Mar 4th, 2018 06:17 AM

Well, there are a lot of churches in the UK, and not so many church goers, so finding new uses for them is praiseworthy. (I know some have been converted into houses.) However, this is very pricey for a single, and not exactly cheap for a couple, especially given the lack of facilities. BTW, the website says there will be no church bells, so the author of the article has grounds for complaint.

@StCirq - the Church of England may be the "established" church but tithing went out decades ago.

nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 07:00 AM

I would love to see a picture St Cirq but do if convenient for you. I love old churches especially ones with a graveyard attached. It is interesting to read the names and sometimes a statement about the person as it gives a wonderful sense of the place.
Years ago DH and I were wandering in a churchyard and found the grave marker of Winston Churchill. I wish I could remember where. DH would know but he is out of town.

thursdaysd Mar 4th, 2018 07:24 AM

Err, no need to wait for your husband when there is google (or, in my case, duckduckgo).

Bladon St Martin ? Benefice of Blenheim

MmePerdu Mar 4th, 2018 07:36 AM

StCirq, you have bananas growing in your neighborhood?

nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 07:36 AM

Thanks thursday. :)

You are right madame looks like a banana tree or leaves on the left hand corner of the photo. Very perceptive!

As an aside Bantree in Ireland has palm trees growing. Who knew!

StCirq Mar 4th, 2018 08:16 AM
Yes, we do, Mme Perdu. It's a microclimate of sorts. There used to be one in my yard, but it froze to death a decade or so ago. There are several just down the lane from me, by the Grotte du Sorcier (which you see in that picture), but they don't look all that healthy right now because of the nasty winter we've had. We have a few palm trees also. But mostly it looks like this:

nanabee, next time I head down the hill I'll take photos of our chapel. In the meantime, you might want to take a look at this wonder, which is just a few kilometers away from us:

Christina Mar 4th, 2018 09:22 AM

There is such a thing as separation of church and state. No way in the world would I support my taxes going to pay for the upkeep of any religion's church in my area. France obviously doesn't believe in the concept of people not having to pay taxes to support religion, which is surprising to me given I thought that revolution had happened a long time ago.. Now if the church is not owned any more by the religion and is a govt/historical landmark for tourism, that's another story, but no working church should be supported by taxes in my opinion. Maybe the wealth of the Vatican should pay for it, or at least the wealth of the local bishopric or French Catholic church. The ones in England are owned by a charity that is trying to preserve them, that makes sense. Taxing local residents does not, to me.

I wouldn't be interested in paying to camp in a church at all. First, I dislike camping, but if I'm going to be uncomfortable and sleep on something hard, it would have to be in nature or someplace like that, not an old builidng.

Nonconformist Mar 4th, 2018 09:50 AM

I wouldn't expect bells, these are redundant churches which are no longer used. Often they can't be converted into something else because many are Grade 1 listed.

nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 10:19 AM

I am standing in line at a restaurant waiting for the grandkiddos. So I may not get to finish the article you posted St.Cirq depending how quickly this line moves. But I love the stone walls popular in the area buildings. If they are in fact similar to those we saw when I was traveling in the area not too long ago. If I could export them (magically) to my area I would build my entire house, walls, floors out of that stone.

Gotta put on my sweater, a cool ocean breeze is flowing past me. No banana trees affected though. :)

PalenQ Mar 4th, 2018 10:43 AM

Wow - thought it was a typo in title and was ready to post about Camping in England. Interesting - thanks for posting.

Are atheists allowed to Champ? Do I want an Champing Carnet?

StCirq Mar 4th, 2018 10:51 AM

nanabee, here are photos of St-Cirq, including a few of the church, which you can see is falling apart.

annhig Mar 4th, 2018 11:57 AM

I'm surprised that municipal taxes can't pay to restore these churches. That's how it happens where we live.>>

yes but in France, St Cirq, the churches belong to the state, do they not? in the UK, or at least in England, they belong to the Church of England which is an entirely different kettle of fish, as well as being a completely different legal entity, and is notoriously parsimonious. So repairs even to churches which are in use are usually the responsibility of the parish or in the case of cathedrals, the diocese and there are often fund raising initiatives. Unused churches are usually deconsecrated and sold off as housing but if this didn't happen there would be little money to repair them.

There is sometimes a nasty shock for people buying property in villages, especially old property, which may have hidden in their deeds covenants to fund church repairs, which in the case of a roof for instance can be very pricey. These covenants have been challenged, but rarely overturned. So buying that pretty village cottage may have more drawbacks than finding the odd bat in the rafters.

StCirq Mar 4th, 2018 12:08 PM

Yes, annhig, they belong to the state, and while many are left in disrepair, the ones like ours that are along the Route de Compostelle are considered to be national treasures to some extent. I went back and checked about the funding for repairs, and yes, it's going to cost 40,000 euros, but 25% will be paid by the state, 20% by the département, and the rest by local taxes.

PalenQ Mar 4th, 2018 12:20 PM

Do all churches in France belong to State - like all Muslim ones? Curious.

nanabee Mar 4th, 2018 01:58 PM

Pal are you wondering if mosques belong to the French state?

annhig, that is very interesting I had no idea (and apparently neither do buyers). It would seem that when a property goes through some sort of escrow (where a disinterested third party corporation handles the monies for both seller and buyer) like we have in our state - would be required to inform the buyer of all interests including such transactions to fund churches. Why is it kept secret from the potential buyers? Aren't they given documents on the property to have transparency? I will have to remember that when I buy my cute little Cotswold cottage (after I hit the lottery!) :)

Thanks St.Cirq. That is a cute church. I wonder when it was built. I am glad the community is willing to restore it. Of course, in Europe many such churches are probably common place. But here in sunny California (other than the Spanish missions built in the mid 1700's) we don't have much else.

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