And Now, the Latest Scalzi Acquisition
Posted on December 6, 2021 Posted by John Scalzi 177 Comments
And to help us along with this, I am calling on your friend and mine, Whatever’s favorite recurring gimmick, the Fictional Interlocutor!
For the record, I’m not comfortable being called a gimmick.
I understand that entirely, and yet.
Hmmmph. Why are you bothering me now?
Because I want you to help me introduce the latest Scalzi acquisition!
(Rolls eyes) You know, there are only so many multi-necked guitars you can buy before the schtick gets old.
I understand that. Are you ready?
(Sighs) Fine, let’s get this over with.
Okay! Here’s the new thing:
Wow, what a surprise, you bought a new guitar.
Well, yes, but —
And it’s a three-string cigar box guitar with a silk-screened American flag! How very patriotic of you.
Thank you, but —
Only one neck, though. You’re slipping.
Well, look, one, not every guitar needs more than one neck. And two, the guitar isn’t actually the latest acquisition.
The guitar isn’t the latest acquisition.
So… you’re showing off what, then? New shoes? Is this kindergarten show and tell?
Not the shoes.
(Impatient) Then what? The jacket? The pants? That clearly obvious neck wattle?
It’s not a wattle.
All right, it’s new, it needs time to grow into a wattle. It’s a wattlette.
That’s not even a word, and no to all of those.
I give up. What is it?
Here, let me reframe the photo. Maybe that will help.
Okay, so, your latest acquisition is a court summons for trespassing at a local church.
Well, see, that’s the thing. I’m not trespassing.
What do you mean?
That’s the latest Scalzi acquisition.
You… bought a church?!?
A whole church.
I mean, who buys a fraction of a church?
I… you… just… Dude. A church.
Come on. Yes. I bought it. Actually, we bought it, since Krissy is on the title as well.
I need an excuse?
Yes, you really do.
Fine. For a while now, Krissy and I have been talking about how we wanted to get some additional space for long-term business plans that we have. We had looked at other property in Bradford, but it didn’t fit for what we wanted to do. So were thinking of buying some land locally and building some office and storage space on it. I opened up a real estate site to see what land parcels might be available nearby, and as it happened this church had literally come onto the market that day, a couple hours earlier. In terms of what we needed a space for, this building offered it, along with a fair number of other options as well.
We set up an appointment to see it, were convinced it was worth pursuing, and made an offer. They accepted it. And if people are reading this, it means we’ve actually closed on the deal, and we’re now officially the owners of the building. We own a church.
You’re not planning to, like, start a religion or anything.
Well, as it happens, Krissy and I are both ordained ministers.
It’s true. It’s useful to officiate weddings. But to be clear, no, we have no plans to start a religion. The track record of science fiction authors starting their own religions is, shall we say, spotty at best.
You say that now. But you have a church.
You’ll just have to trust me on this one.
And anyway, now you’re one of those people.
What do you mean?
Look, not everyone can just wake up, eat a donut and then buy a church on a whim.
I mean, it wasn’t a whim. As noted, we have practical reasons for wanting more space, and it just so happens that the space that best suited our needs locally came in the form of a church.
With that said, okay, sure. I’m now in that tier of authors with idiosyncratic real estate purchases. Some of these authors buy old movie theaters. Some buy Masonic temples. Some buy small islands. I’m getting a church. I’m not going to pretend it’s not a little eccentric. I actually like that. I will probably lean into it as we go along.
So, how much are churches going for these days, anyway?
A bit more than a six-necked guitar, but inasmuch as this is a church in a small rural community, possibly less than you might suspect. Suffice to say we wouldn’t have gotten it if we did not believe it was within our means. The odd musical purchase aside, Krissy and I are fairly conservative in how we spend our money. This is a long-term project and investment and we’ve budgeted for it as such.
What happened to the former owners? Did you defenestrate them or something?
There was no defenestration. The building was formerly owned by the Methodist Church, and as I understand it over time the congregation shrank and was merged with another congregation a bit down the road. When that happened, the Methodists didn’t need this building any more, and while they kept it in reasonably good repair (otherwise we wouldn’t have bought it), it wasn’t doing what it was intended to do for them, which was to be a place of worship and community. So they let it go to be useful to someone else, in this case, us.
How old is it?
It’s a little over eighty years old.
Is it haunted?
When word got out locally that we were buying the place, some former members of the congregation assured us that it was. However, if it is, they are Methodist ghosts, and I suspect that means they are reasonably friendly and that the haunting will be somewhat polite.
You should start a bookstore/goth club/restaurant/[insert some other idea here] in that space.
When you buy your own church, you can do any of those things you like! As for us, be assured that we do have plans, and that we will work toward them over time. Again, this is a long-term project for us. I will say that one thing that Krissy and I have talked about is the desire to have the building continue to be part of the community, rather than entirely removed from it. Bradford has been good to us over the years, and we would like to return the favor. How best to do that is something we still have to think about. But it’s very much part of our planning for the place.
What are you going to name it? Church of the Scalzi?
There’s already at least one of those, in Venice (right by the Scalzi Bridge!). But we might call it that, simply for convenience. I’m sure there will be other possible names: Church of the Infinite Burrito, First Assembly of the Bacon Cat, The Sacred Order of the Six-Necked Beast, and so on. If people have suggestions, they can leave them in the comments, along with any other questions they might have about the church, and us, and the fact that it’s our place now.
And I think that’s it for you today, fictional interlocutor.
I suppose so. But, dude.
You own a church.
I know. I know.
(Update: A follow-up post.)
Can’t believe you’re not naming it after Charlie?
The Church of Charlie seems like a great name.
Whoa. There’s a TOWER!
Ha ha ha ha ha!
When I saw the first picture, I did wonder if the windows behind you were the point. ;-)
“First Assembly of the Bacon Cat” had me laughing out loud in my office.
I will point out that the extremely small town my wife grew up in had made an old church into the public library. So that has precedent.
So you could have a book store/library/coffee shop which hosts the occasional late-night Scalzi-DJed rave, finishing up with a showing of Rocky Horror.
Sounds great! I’d buy a membership except that it’s a bit far away from where I live.
Have fun! Thanks for sharing!
Say hello to Alice, and don’t get caught illegally dumping trash when you clean up the place.
Old Man’s Cathedral
So, you are asking us to take it on faith that you aren’t starting a new religion?
Sigh, that’s how it always starts, as a slippery slope paved with good intentions.
Seriously though, congrats on the purchase. It’s got CRENELLATIONS! I’m definitely making my wayyy there at the first sign of the zombie apocalypse! :)
I am soooo jealous. What I could do with that kind of space. I’ve always wanted to own a church. Well not always, but for the last 20 years ow so…
Didn’t Arlo Guthrie buy a church?
Dude: I know you are ‘young’, but it’s just past Thanksgiving: Think ‘Alice’s Restaurant’
The Esoteric Order of Scalzi.
Are there bells in that bell tower?
Well that is an awesome purchase
I vote for naming it
temple of the Scamperbeasts
If I remember correctly a comedian bought a church in Pittsburgh or someplace like that and was converting it to a comedy incubator. He gave away the cross and bell to another church and was going to use the space to help develop new comedians, do podcasts and the like since the building has accommodations to do it.
Not gonna lie, my first thought is “Church of the Evolved Lamb”.
Is this 80s Black Sabbath fandom taken to the extreme conclusion? Because it’s not just a church, but also AN ORGAN. To go with the guitars.
I’m kind of picturing “School of Hard Rock,” Scalzi style, with maybe some yoga in the community basement afterward. For people who (once) had long hair and still wear black t-shirts.
Congrats! Among the most unique Christmas acquisitions I’ve heard of this year.
The light is fantastic – would be a great artists co-op or maker’s space…
Conversely: The only way to fight bad guy in a religion founded by a science fiction writer is a religion started by a good guy science fiction writers.
Is that a pipe organ, and does it still work?
That could be a fun thing.
I’m pretty sure it has to be the First Church of Scamperbeasts.
We all know you bought this so you could play In a Gadda Da Vida on the church organ a la The Simpsons.
Or maybe Toccata and Fugue in D minor a la Captain Nemo?
Oooh, so did it come with an organ still connected to those pipes? That would be cool.
Are there bells in that tower?!?!?!
You are going to be the Church Lady in your own TV show, right? Now, isn’t that special? xD
Churches are nice, but I really want a fire station. A cool midcentury modern one, not a bland box.
Starting a church has been a great moneymaker for some folks, but I don’t buy books from that kind of people.
Vaya con dios, Your Burritoness!
Nice. I looked at a very cool old Masonic Temple a while back, but I couldn’t figure out how to turn it into a money-making enterprise. (The guy who did buy it also never figured that out, fwiw.)
Are they leaving the organ behind? If so, it’s time for an all-night Inna-Gadda-Davida jam.
Um, it’s not a church. It’s a building that uses to be used as a church.
To be a church you usually gotta be peddling some kind of bullshit not usually associated with John Scalzi.
You bought. A church.
You can’t fool me, or any of your other regulars and semi-regulars – we know the moment you saw the pipe organ in that chapel with what looks like awesome acoustics, you just had to have it, didn’t you? You’re going to turn that into the best recording studio/music venue Middle-of-Nowhere Ohio has ever seen….
You’re keeping the pipe organ, right? You gotta keep the pipe organ.
Based on the last picture, I’m wondering: did you also buy an organ, as part of the property? (If so, way to go making even bigger odd musical purchases than you have previously.).
If the pipes are merely decorative, or otherwise nonfunctional at this point, they still look cool. (But if it’s a working or easily restorable instrument, it’d also be cool to try out.)
It came with an organ, too? That’ll be fun for band practice.
Refurbished churches make excellent community theaters/concert halls. And if that’s the plan and you find yourself in need of a soon-to-be-retired Shakespeare professor…
please tell me that the pipe organ is still attached to those pipes and still works. and that you plan on terrorizing the neighborhood with pipe organ music regularly.
Let me echo Rebecca from above. I think you have to call it the Church of the Evolved Lamb. Sure it’s a deep cut but it’s a good one!
My first though was “Churro Church”.
My next band will be named…
My next church will be named…
I think “Methodist Ghosts” has to go into the band name rotation.
The locals are not scandalized…yet.
Congratulations on your extraordinary acquisition. I have always loved churches. If I could buy a small one I would renovate and live in it. I always visit churches when I travel and take many pictures.
Full disclosure: I’m an Atheist. My close friends and family find my love of churches interesting if not odd. However, old churches are where some of the best art and architecture are to be found. Yours looks wonderful!
Pro tip to John’s other readers in the northeast: don’t do any sleuthing to find out more details like how much this cost. You really, really don’t want to know. (Whimpers something about just four years’ of my rent payment.)
Please make sure none of that beautiful woodwork ends up in a landfill during any inevitable renovations!
This is fabulous and what a fantastic recording studio it would make, ala The Commitments!
We built a video recording studio in our house for my wife’s chair yoga videos on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/c/bottomsdown. Would love to take a road trip and record some lessons sometime should you go that direction.
The optimum amount of buildings to have is the current amount plus one… what next? Fire Station?
You’re…not going to start up a new SF publisher sure to dominate the field and put Tor out of business, are you?
Don’t be a copycat, John. And think of your contract!
Congratulations, you now officially have bats in the belfry.
Kiva Abbey. Hmm, no. Kiva F*cking Abbey.
Awesome purchase! Our friends in Pleasant Hill bought the old Church of God (formerly Church of the Brethren) and have been living in it/renovating it. Contact Matt and Kristen Gray (through their Level MB company or facebook) to get ideas!
The curved pews are wonderful. Congratulations on your new acquisition. I came very close to buying a deconsecrated church once, and applaud anyone who does.
The real question is whether, next year, you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. And most importantly, who’s taking out the garbage…
First, the fate of the church reminded me of the church we went to when I was a kid in a small town in Minnesota. It was a small Lutheran church and it was across the street from our house. There was a Pastor house for it next door. Recently, I looked it up and it’s still there but the Pastor house was sold. The congregation is smaller and another church in town merged with it (and the other church was sold). Sad, but I guess that’s the way it is in small town USA.
Two, like you said, you are now in that tier of authors with idiosyncratic real estate purchases. Still a long way from George R.R. Martin territory since he not only owns a theater and a museum (Meow Wolf) but now he owns a train! I don’t think he owns a six-neck guitar so you have that.
Three, a question: Will that building require routine maintenance? Or will you hire a person to do that? (OK, that was two questions).
The sign out front looks like a continuing opportunity for announcements and/or brief commentary with varying levels of snark. I look forward to seeing photographs, à la “All dogs go to heaven” and so on.
Regards the room and how it gets used, maybe notables coming visiting Dayton can stop by for readings and book-signings.
It’s beautiful! Congrats and best wishes for achieving something wonderful with it.
…my vote is for the goth club…
I have a passion for “converted” architecture. People who’ve turned Berlin power plants into techno clubs and water towers, churches, and gas stations into homes are, by definition, cool.
Hope we get to see the intended long-term use.
Ooh, does it have a bell?
………..But did your church ever spend years as a Tibetan place of worship that just missed hosting the Dali Lama?
Our church did.
Your building was indisputably an American Christian church. Whereas ours, built as a small Lutheran church in the Depression, looks more like a grange hall tacked onto the back of a Craftsman bungalow. In this annex it’s just big flat open space, perfect for hosting dance parties (contra dance, square dance, English country dance). Meanwhile we are remodeling the bungalow side to live in.
Ours is in Portland, Oregon, about 5 miles northeast of downtown, a block from a major bus line.
As a born-and-raised apatheist, I’m rather glad ours lacked towers and stained glass and all that lot. Or else, as an anglophile, I envy those things. Not sure which.
The acoustics must be amazing!
You’re gonna need to put together an Alice’s Restaurant bit for das boot!
Church of the Indignant Cat?
You could host some huge dinners if it has the typical church kitchen.
If you put in a coffee shop, then its name must inevitably be “Sacred Grounds”.
Someone asked if Arlo Guthrie bought a church. He did! It is now “The Guthrie Center at The Old Trinity Church.” Not far away is another former church that has been converted into a breathtakingly comprehensive and modern recording studio.
…And now I’m giving John ideas, aren’t I?
Just wanted to note my approval of the Fictional Interlocutor jumping a little salty there at the beginning. They put up with a lot from you.
So it’s 80 years old. What was there before? Perhaps a Native American burial ground that was built atop a place where the crop-circle alien crashed (not all of them made it back home, you know). So when you’re at your new organ and “the voices” start suggesting new ideas (literary AND musical), write ’em down.
If they’re Methodist ghosts, they’ll keep you well supplied with ecto-casseroles.
We have a friend who acquired a separate home for her cats. It didn’t end well for her or the cats. Just saying.
“The track record of science fiction authors starting their own religions is, shall we say, spotty at best.” Slow applause…
I’m thinking combo B&B, Gift Shop, Micro-Brewery (Old Man’s Tavern) and a Writer’s Workshop. Whatever you do with it, best of luck!
Have to admit, I didn’t have this on my Scalzi bingo card. Could make for a nice visual arts center. Would be some interesting opportunities for large scale works in the main chapel space. Very curious to see what you actually use this for.
Wow! cool dude! I’ve always wanted to own a de-consecrated church! (it IS de-consecrated, right?? :) )
Do all the fittings and furnishings such as the Organ and Pews come with it? because, like, that’s another eccentric musical instrument purchase there!.
If you get stuck inside, it will be the Locked In Cathedral.
The (whatever you end up doing in it) Of The Two Towers. Because how many people can say they own The Two Towers for reals.
In my little town, a man bought a church and made it into a museum for his collection of Hollywood Christmas movie memorabilia. Check it out: http://www.castlenoel.com
So how does that cigar box guitar sound in your new church?
(My three string thing’s body is made from a piece of plywood. Playing it in the bathroom doesn’t make it sound any better than it should.)
“I’m flying in the Scalzi’s Cathedral…”
Did it come with a graveyard?
Best wishes for your project.
I haven’t been to Bradford, so I don’t know if the town has a bookstore. If not, my vote’s for you to start one in your church. And a possible name for your new store: The Scalzi Coffee and Book Jubilee.
😲. 😳. 🤔
Just buy the whole block and name it … well … “Writer’s Block”
Are you familiar with Cheap Old Houses and similar blogs/Instagram accounts? There’s the occasional converted church in that world.
How about calling it, “Wherever”?
Also, if you’re open to room mates, I hear the flying spaghetti monster is looking for a home https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-19/sa-church-of-the-flying-spaghetti-monster-proposal-rejected/100228038
As for who buy a fraction of a church, I nearly did! Was looking for a condo. And near were I wanted to buy there was a church with a similar ending to yours (not enough people, got merge elsewhere). But a contractor bought it, and convert it to condo. So yes, you can (and people have) buy part of a church.
In Bradford-on-Avon, we stopped in at the tourist bureau. They said we should go see the old church, but that it’s also worth seeing the new church, which is Norman. Yours is … a bit newer.
I’ve got an electric guitar that looks about like that, except for being natural wood color instead of painted. Fun to play!
Hmmm. Well, if you’re considering it as a music venue at some time in the future, you should check out this place close to where I live, and their acoustics.
Congratulations! I hope your new acquisition does what you need it to and gives all the Scalzis joy. But be warned, the whole starting a new millennial religion is Right. Off. The. Table–or the tabernacle, as the case may be. Bacon Cat would not be amused, and that won’t be pretty….
You don’t imbibe, so maybe the Shirley Temple?
Looks like you might have picked up a piano along with the organ:
I also googled around for it, and wow, even at list price that is way less than I would have expected a whole building of that size to go for, even one that would need structural work done to convert it into not-a-church. Assuming you need to, of course, since we don’t know what you guys wanted office/storage space yet. Y’all got a good deal there. Excited to see what you use it for!
You could open a music studio and call it “The Rhythm Method[ist]”!
(Yeah, I know. I’m going straight to Hell for that one…)
Very cool. Glad to see you finally closed on it. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it and maybe eventually visiting some day.
Dear Mr. Scalzi:
I have to admit, I cannot quite picture WHAT plans you would have for the use of a church building, though I suppose that there would be enough space to set up a small business. I cannot help but wonder, since you have already said that you have no intention of creating your own religion, just what your intentions are.
I like you, as a crazy entertainer (writer), but … there are times when I definitely feel that the proper conclusion must be that you are at least a bit crazier than I am (and THAT is saying something).
Niall C. Shapero
Tell me the truth: are you looking forward to sitting in your own pew?
What music will you make the chimes in the bell tower play?
Please say In A Gadda Da Vida
Elevar Design Group, Dayton OH, worth a look if you need an architect.
THE TEMPLE OF SMUDGE
Somebody bought the AME church down at the end of my block a while back. When they took possession, they put a sign out front notifying the neighborhood that they were “Under New Deities.”
Also, with regard to cigar box guitars, they can be pretty awesome:
When we were touring Ireland after the 2019 WorldCon, we found a deconsecrated cathedral in Sligo Town that had been transformed into the public library. I thought that was a most fitting way for a house of worship to evolve.
It is likely to be a bit pricey to bring those cement stairs in line with current ADA regs, but it’s a really pretty building nonetheless. And I am sure that you and Krissy factored that cost into your calculations along with whatever other renovations you plan.
Have fun, and I look forward to updates!
Great job! The musician Ani DiFranco bought a huge old church in Buffalo a ways back and turned it into a performance hall and community center called Babeville. These old buildings can bring so much value to their community through their new lives.
Nice looking building, and a bargain if my Google searches are to be believed! :)
Looks like you have a lot of space there and I am thinking a bookstore, some offices and storage, and maybe even some kind of performance venue (that stage looks pretty good!) And I’m thinking some kind of annual Scalzi jubilee with its own specialist venue now :)
Looking forward to seeing what you do with it. I hope it gives the Scalzi family great happiness.
Scalzitology has a certain ring to it
Scalzitology has already been mentioned. May I suggest Church of the Scalzi Wisdom.
My suggestion is the First Pastafarian Church of Bradford.
A building like a church, can in a case like this end up being cheap because it has some disadvantages. It’s got spaces that are big and awkward for most businesses to utilize, and maintenance costs that go with them. Like the high ceilinged cathedral, lots of wasted cubic footage if you were using it as office or living space, that costs money to heat. The large dated kitchen most businesses wouldn’t use, etc. It’s great that you’ve found a match for your needs.
If it was in a different area, someone would have bought if only to tear it down or close to that to make it into a completely different space to rent out for far more money.
Fair warning — the stained glass looks beautiful, but it’s not known for insulating value. If the church hadn’t already put clear glass on one or both sides of those windows to block drafts (and being a Midwest congregation, they may have), you might want to consider it.
Hope you and Krissy have an easy time renovating this into whatever your future plans call for.
Wow! Congrats! I hope the business plans include some sort of communication burrito or holy Coke Zero stoup!
One of the things I love about the comments here is what I was gonna chime in with an Arlo Guthrie reference and two people beat me to it!
I am presuming that what with recycling and being good citizens… John, Athena, and Christie are unlikely to be looking for a place to dump the garbage.
pax / Ctein
With apologies to California Dreaming:
I stopped into a church
that Scalzi bought today.
Well, I got down on my knees
but it was not to pray….
(complete this as you see fit)
Gonna confess, I did NOT see that one coming. Church renovations are always interesting, it’s tough to do anything with the sanctuary other than a meeting/performance space without spending a ton of money, but the rest of the building usually already comes with office space, meeting rooms, storage space, restrooms, often kitchen space, there’s a number of directions you can go with that. Nice.
Congrats (again) on the purchase. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it. If the guitar pose a hint?
True story, while house hunting we looked at two historic churches for sale. Unfortunately both had structural issues, and I wasn’t as handy or versed in construction as I am now (or we might have bought the one). It would have made an awesome living space.
Interesting. I play guitar (in an amateurish way) with a bunch of people at a church bought by a guy who found it cheap.
I like the smell, from the old wood, in old churches and old houses.
My Boy Scout hall was a former church (but not old)
But do you also get the church’s Facebook page?
Just in time for Christmas!
So…there’s a Methodist to your madness.
Church of the Group W Burrito.
There are some great puns in this thread.
I’m wondering what time-frame is “long”. Months? Years? Decades?
well, I, too, was going to mention what Arlo Guthrie has done w/Alice’s former residence/church; the now Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA, is a wonderful part of the local community- and, in fact, IS a community center now. Good luck, and, well, damn! How absolutely cool!
Can we hold BurritoCon at your church?
The Church of the Fictional Interlocutor?
There is here in the Northwest a chain of brewpubs (McMenamin’s) that’s made a practice out of buying interesting older properties and converting them into brewpubs (and sometimes movie theaters and hotels, or combined brewpubs/theaters/hotels); I think a handful of churches are among the sites they’ve developed over the years. So there is certainly precedent for converting classic church buildings for business use. It would not therefore surprise me if you got into the brewpub/theater business, though it’s certainly not your only possible objective.
As to possible Scalzi-led theological ventures, I’d propose:
The Order of the Folded Tortilla
# The Society of Canonical Baconians
# The Sacred Shrine of the Ukuleles of Chaos
# The Rational Order of Scientifically Wise, Esoteric, & Loyal Logicians
(aka the ROSWELLs)
The Church of Sciencefictionology?
Dude. You have a stage, you have instruments, and you have a lot of friends who are professional musicians. I hope the business and/out community ideas your working on capitalize on those facts.
Given that the Proprietor’s politics don’t match the local community’s demographics, may I suggest — on many levels indeed — the Church of the Poisoned Mind? And it looks like it has better acoustics than wherever Culture Club recorded that anyway.
hmmm… not-so-secret lair from which to plan your next attempt to conquer the world? for sure you’d need one mega big space for the control center & telecommunications hub with twelve foot high screens for displaying orbital intercepts of your NonJewishSpaceLasers… if I was still in my forties I’d try renting it from you for a kick-arse-jam-session beer-bash-and-barbeque…
…just gonna slow-kill me not knowing what you’ll be doing with it
Does it have to be deconsecrated or are you leaving it as sanctified?
Please call it the First Church of the Latter Day Kaiju Preservation Society.
Obviously, The Sanctuary of the Redshirt.
A lifetime supply of old sofas – it would make a good cattery.
Put me on the “You got an ORGAN!” list, please.
Holy parapets and crenellations, John! It’s practically a castle.
At this point I have the general impression you didn’t sleep for 30 hours and then bought a church, but I suppose I must have misunderstood the order of events. Though there’s an element of plausibility to that. I recall something of that sort in an old Dilbert cartoon, involving the intervention of an Inca monkey god.
Anyway, carry on, Mr. and Mrs. Church Lady.
Obviously you need to open up that belfry thing and install a giant, illuminated, rotating Screaming Head Of John Scalzi in that space.
Good to hear you got it — I wondered who was bidding against me…
The Assumptive Congregation of the Consumptive Presumptive & Band Rehearsal Hall, LLC.
Can’t wrap my head around why someone who has 20 DUNAMS* YARD would need more space…. perspective is everything!
Dunam = 1000 square meters ~ 1/4 acre
I am deeply coveting your lectern. Lectern-envy in fact.
My wife is a UK Baptist Minister-in-Training*, and I’ve wanted to get her a lectern for sooo long.
Not like your bonkers Westboro lot – uk Baptists do weird things like help refugees, and run homeless shelters, and groups to support new parents’ mental health, wacky stuff like that.
I was also wondering about the acoustics. A small chamber ensemble, perhaps?
The Scalzi Recording Label is your next business. I can see it now.
@nathaniel if you go to his twitter feed you can see him ringing the bell!
Is there any parking space in the back?
If the couches came with it, you’ve got at least one for each of your pets.
All in all, deeply cool.
140+ comments in and nobody has made a “The Methodist ghosts have formed a Nomination Committee in order to select an Exploratory Discussion Committee which will address the possibility of forming a Scalzi Human Relations Committee” joke? I confess myself disappointed. (Grew up Methodist, so I’m allowed, per the Self-Deprecation Committee.)
In Dayton, several churches have been turned into residences. And one was turned into a rock climbing gym
“The Scalzi-Reformation Church of Radioactive Animals.”
If you wish to be known among the Linux geeks, name your church the Church of Emacs.
You asked the internet for naming suggestions? Well, I think it’s tradition to offer up Churchy McChurchface.
With the legendary Methodist basement kitchen!
Neat! I love it when old buildings are repurposed, instead of bulldozed. I my city, a large church is now a community Town Hall, that hosts readings, small concerts, lectures by smart people, art fairs , as well as office space for various small non profits. Since you are already a corporation, you could probably write off the space as business facility, and events as charitable contributions. Etc. As I’m sure you (and Krissy) know. 😁
If they were Methodist ghosts, they’d be polite, but the incessant hymn singing would possibly drive you bonkers.
Also, you did increase your allotment of musical instruments- various guitars, the Beast, a bass or two, keyboards, that box guitar thing, and one giant bell.
Whenever I get the hankering to search-up old church properties, my wife is always completely agains’t the idea…
“It will be haunted” she says.
Why I inevitably proclaim!
No one actually dies in the church – sure, they host funerals, maybe even an associated cemetary. But – aren’t ghosts supposed to haunt the place they died? What are the rules, really?
You could show silent movies.
I’m assuming the organ works. You just need an organist for accompaniment.
I assume you’re turning this into some kind of performance venue?
You are aware of the fact that, in order to start a religion, one doesn’t need to want to start a religion…?
Praise the Bacon Cat!
First Assembly Of The Bacon Cat as the new name of the church works for me. So questions:
Will the space be used to allow traveling authors to do readings there?
Can part of it be converted into a concert space or even a community meeting room for, say, gay/straight alliances?
Would the place be available to women’s groups who want to provide abortion information or services?
I can’t believe nobody has suggested that he’s turning into the Bradford Vaccination Center
OMG, is that a functioning pipe organ? How are the acoustics? You might want to rip out that carpet for better acoustics.
A prophecy fulfilled.
John you are looking fit and trim in the photo, no hibernation fat on you. Good job!
As many people have said, “Pipe Organ!” the mind reels with the possibilities.
The curved pews are wonderful, I bet you can resell them.
Stain glass windows are beautiful, will they stay or go?
Replacing the stain glass windows, with scenes from the Old Man’s War series and/or themed with your new endeavors.
The great Leon Russell, Master of Time and Space, bought a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he recorded (he also had his own record label, Shelter). And he called the place… The Church Studio. The place fell into disrepair through the years but has recently been bought by a fan and is now restored and is going to be a museum to Leon and also a recording studio again. You can look it up! It’s a really cool building and really cool idea.
Here’s the church,
here’s the steeple
open the door, and
see all the people!
Congrats on your purchase of a building that was formerly a church. Church buildings are great, they often have ‘character’ in their architecture (otherwise lacking in other available spaces), come with spaces designed for an audience and main space with good acoustics (often with separate/ dedicated office and/or living space) as mentioned above …great for a music/ small theatre venue, or a pub (or coffeeshop) with a stage, for a comedy club, or poetry slams or what have you- good luck with whatever venture you had in mind
I like it! Well done!
In Tulsa, we have the Church Studio, a church Leon Russell purchased and converted to a recording studio. Much local history. Purchased and renovated recently. Had I the means, and talent, I know I would have cheerfully purchased it! Wish you well!
I vote for your first proposed name, Church of the Infinite Burrito. I mean, it was a church – the infinite is already baked in.
Well, you could convert the belfry in that bell tower, to a bat sanctuary. Good for the environment, your community ( bats eat lots of mosquitoes ), and having read several of your books, I can of nothing more appropriate for your new acquisition.
You do know that it will be called “the old Methodist Church” with “on Church Street” appended if more clarification is needed for at least the next decade. At least locally….
(The Free Methodist Church down the road sold their facility to a group of Buddhist monks 15 years ago, and despite the sign out front, most people still call it the ‘the monastery where the Free Methodist Church used to be’. Heck, the new high school was built over 20 years ago, and it’s only in the last 5 years or so that people have stopped referring to the old one as “the old high school”. :) Small towns are fun.)
A Methodist ghost will likely be haunting the kitchen, cooking or serving food, or cleaning up after a meal.
Do the Methodists have to do some sort of rite to de-sanctify a church? Is it still holy ground? Basically, what I’m getting at here is: When Duncan Macleod shouts, “There can be only one!” and attacks him, will John Scalzi fight back? Or does he wait for the The Highlander to be struck down by a bolt of lightning?
This whole “Oops, I bought a church by accident” ploy may be just a clever way for Scalzi to dispatch his rivals via divine retribution.
A new music room that whiffs of other things besides Eau de Chat! Noice!
(I love me some furry felines, but at times, their aromas are enough to peel the paint right off the walls)
Whatever you wind up using it for, I hope you can keep the stained glass windows. Those are lovely.
About twenty years ago or so, a friend of mine in the UK bought a chapel to turn into their home. It was one of two properties available: the other was the pub next door. No one wanted the pub to close, so they got the chapel. It’s made a very fun home to live in, unusual for sure, but fun.
Good luck with your church and whatever you do with it! :)
“Spotty at best”….ugh i wish….scientology has made tons of money….maybe you SHOULD start one to counter the effects of the damage the others have caused.
This will someday end with something like the Bradford Guitar Museum which will then belong to the Scalzi Foundation, won’t it?
Okay, I’m so late to the party that I know this suggestion is likely to be lost/unread, but…hear me out.
So, you live at the Scalzi Compound, right?
Clearly, this place needs to be the Scalzi Complex.
As a writer and therefore de facto grammar nerd, it’s perfect.
There’s a small problem:
Due to an unfortunate construction oversight, opening the belfry shutters immediately vents all the air into space. Might want to fix that little glitch.
Cool. Hope the roof and basement are in prime repair. One idea: monthly book readings by local writers.
Might I point out that one of the greatest of all ecclesiastical buildings–the Parthenon in Athens–is a temple to Athena?
In connection with which, I’m groping here for some segue to “having lost its (or your) marbles,” but it just won’t come…
Also, I don’t know if the church is haunted, but I shudder to think what might be living in some of those couches in the basement.
I’m not sure how well this will work as a shelter during the Zombie apocalypse but good luck.
How have so few people in the comments mentioned those windows? I love stained glass, and these are quite lovely. The outside architecture and brick are really nice, too. And it has a balcony, curved pews, and an organ. This place really has it all, lots of character. Hope you’ve got nice plans.