I enjoyed your piece on the Church of England (DW 3 July), but while there is an obvious need for branding, such a positive image change would only work if the experience of church-going was similarly improved with good design.
Let’s face it, the House of God could do with a makeover. The interior of even modern churches is often a cold, inhospitable, dark and intimidating space to many. Flowers and stained glass windows do nothing to cheer up these places because they have merely become part of the Church’s negative design vernacular.
If it is to retain and entice new ‘consumers’ it m
ust take a lesson from commercially designed leisure and retail experiences. To attract passers-by and reverse the fall in numbers, work should first be done on the entry point to provide a flavour of what the church has to offer.
And inside there has to be a more transparent, honest aesthetic so we can see what’s backstage – behind the velvet curtain.
What about a bit of window dressing? Churches are always dark in summer and cold in winter. Religion could be fashionable if it was refreshed each season.
These days, the church has to compete with countless distractions and demands on our lives and its 3D presence has to reflect the lifestyle of its congregation, in order to be relevant and inspirational.
Raylian Design Consultancy