AMONG THE CHURCHES

Sioux City (Ia.) Journal

London has had a concrete proof of the extent of the Christian Science movement here, in the formal opening of the great First Church in Wilbraham Place, Sloan Street. It is an imposing structure and cost three hundred thousand dollars. But what has produced a far greater impression than the church itself is the fact that the money to pay for it has been obtained without any public appeals for funds or passing around of the hat. In that respect it is unique among modern churches. Another equally remarkable claim to distinction attaches to it. The subscribers of the money care nothing for the glory to be obtained among their fellows by blazoning forth generosity. That is the reason why, so a member of the committee told me, no list of donors has been printed. This presents a striking and significant contrast to the usual procedure. Though none of the various denominational bodies in England extend the hand of Christian fellowship to the Christian Scientists, all regard with amazement the ease with which they raise money for whatever purpose they require it. This is the one religious organization in the kingdom which never begs.

The new church will seat sixteen hundred persons, but it is as far from the ordinary conception of a church building as anythign well can be. The seats are arranged in semicircular tiers, rising toward the back of the auditorium, and every seat is comfortable. There are no stiff-backed pews and there is no pulpit. The place of the pulpit is taken by an ordinary platform, on which there is a beautiful desk for the Readers who conduct the service. The exterior of the building is rather plain architecturally, but its outstanding feature will be a great tower. There will be no bells, however, for Christian Scientists do not need these reminders to call them to worship. All the space in the tower will be taken up by the administrative offices of the church.

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