john davies
notes from a small curate

    May 2004

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    Bob Humm: picture for the Corrugated Iron Club
    from Corrugated Iron Club website

    As I blogged on 1st May, this time of year puts me in mind of the very excellent creative campaigning work of Common Ground, who encourage us all to take a good close look at the places around us, find what's distinctive about them, and celebrate these things. Among their many spin-off projects is one I've only just discovered. The Corrugated Iron Club, an online community of Corrugated Iron enthusiasts from all over the world.

    "It may be thought that sheets of galvanised corrugated iron would make for standardised buildings," they write. Standardisation and homogenity being what they stand against. "Far from it. The material has not had a homogenising influence mainly because it lends itself to small scale, self-build enterprises which reflect a precise functional response to need. The result is simplicity, functionally dictated and locally tempered, and sometimes idiosyncrasy plays a part. Colours often carry or create local resonances - red, black, white, grey, whilst sympathetic deterioration leads to the soft rusty patinated walls and roofs which feel such a part of the landscape."

    Well, I have to say I've never looked at corrugated iron quite this way before. Their enthusiasm makes me want to look some more - particularly into the story of Tin Tabernacles - temporary iron churches erected before permanent buildings could be provided. There were plenty of them around at one time, frontier buildings, "cheap, rapidly erectable ... sited far from developed sources of traditional materials", and what they were saying about mission carries, I suspect, some lessons for us today... I believe the forerunner to the church I'm in now was a tin tabernacle. Something to consider while on Rogation.

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