LESSON: AUDIO: #01 OLD CHURCHES
We a publish weekly listening resource for language teachers and English learners to use freely. Each lesson has a written introduction, an audio clip, the transcript and some questions to discuss. We hope you enjoy using it!
Todays key themes are: Architecture, Politics, Religion, Churches and Community.
We’re starting our first audio lessons with a short clip about disused churches because Blue Noun English Language School is itself housed within in gorgeous converted church.
On Saturday the 27th July, 2019, Geoffry Cox was a panellist on Radio 4’s Any Questions a panel-based political debate programme in which the audience pose questions (and which, generally, politicians show no little skill in avoiding giving a clear answer).
The final question posed was about the importance of repurposing the old and disused churches across the British landscape. (Traditionally, every small village had at least one church, but declining attendance and the modern ease of commuting has made many redundant).
Geoffry Cox is a Conservitave politician and an outspoken pro-Brexiteer. However, on this one question, we loved hearing what he had to say.
This week's audio clip with the transcript just below it.
(Further down the page you will find discussion questions).
"[I think churches are] precious arks that have come down to us in the past, from the past, and which contain within them important seeds of learning for our civilisation and communities.
Even if you don’t subscribe (as I do) to the Christian message - the message itself (by which I mean the divinity of Christ) the message itself of compassion, of service, of public duty, of loving our neighbour as we do ourselves. Nobody I think - no humanitarian can deny that that message is important to our civilisation in our country.
So I think those buildings must be preserved. I hope they will go on for generations to come, as centres of religion worship and centres of religion learning, but the can also go on (as Stephen said) as important centres of community activity, of pastoral care and of social and community compassion.
They are already. They are vital to our communities. Even those who don’t attend them must know when they look at these churches .. must know when they look at this church that there is something part of the glue and fabric of our rural communities. Long may they continue."
Geoffry Cox, 27th July, 2019
Is there any similar problem in your country? If so, why?
What are some of the things redundant church buildings could be used for?
Have you ever seen a church building (or other building) repurposed in a surprising or innovative way?
One potential use of these buildings it to turn them into bars and nightclubs, like the Pithcer and Piano in Nottingham (pictured below). What do you think about this?